Don’t take McDonald’s, video games, cell phones, time travelling and chewing gums for granted, There are people living in some countries which can’t enjoy these little pleasures of life.
1. Video Games were declared Illegal in Greece in 2002
The law was introduced to control illegal betting. Apparently, the legislators were unable to differentiate between a video gaming console and an electronic gambling device. So all video gaming consoles were prohibited in public. The law was nullified in the same year that it was introduced after two internet café owners were to be incarcerated for three months, all because they allowed their patrons to play Counter Strike!
2. Video Gaming Consoles Banned in China for 15 years
The Chinese authorities wanted to protect the youth from wasting their energies on video gaming. The ban only helped the online gaming market to flourish and go up to $100 million. The ban was finally lifted in 2015, but the Chinese regulators closely monitor the content keeping an eye out for anything that “harm[s] national unity … [and] violate[s] public morality.”
3. McDonald’s being banned in Bermuda
Image Source: Bernews
The 1977 Prohibited Restaurants Act in Bermuda prevents all the international restaurant chains from operating in the country. The attempt to open any franchise of a foreign eatery could result in a fine of $5000 or incarceration for six months.
The only foreign restaurant operating in Bermuda is the KFC that opened in 1970 before the law was passed.
4. No Cell phones in Cuba
Under Fidel Castro’s reign, the use of mobile phones was limited to the foreign service employees and the state officials. The ban on public cell phone ownership and usage were lifted in 2008 when Raul came into power.
5. In Iran, Say No To Ponytails
Or mullets either! The Iranian culture ministry issued a list of the approved haircuts and outlawed other decadent hairstyles like ponytails and mullets. The violators will receive a forced haircut while repeated violations could lead to fine. This is not it! The police are authorised to shut down any barbershop that creates the look!
6. Russians almost outlawed Emo culture
The bill never saw the light of day! They wanted to impose a ban because the emo culture was regarded as a ‘dangerous trend’ that encourages ‘depression, social withdrawal, and suicide.” The proposed regulations wanted to ban emo websites as well as emo and goth fashion from schools.
7. No Chewing Gum in Singapore
Lee Kuan Yew, the first Singaporean Prime Minister, wanted to create an oasis of perfection and is especially strict about cleanliness. As a result, chewing gum was banned for 12 years. He feared that the doors of subways might be jammed by the gross public habit of sticking chewing gum on various surfaces. The ban was lifted in 2004, but the Singaporeans are so well-trained that they don’t bother with bubble gums at all!
8. No Time Travelling in China, They Love How Things Are
The Chinese authorities hate the idea of time travel so much that they issued a very strict guideline for both the television and the film producers. The ban was spurred by the ‘bizarre’ way in which the plot treated ‘serious history’; the authorities reckoned it was ‘frivolous’!
9. No mention of Jasmine in China
When the Tunisian government toppled over, it was widely known as the Jasmine Revolution. Calls for the same sort of action in China began to surface anonymously on the internet . As a result, the Chinese government banned all mentions of the flower in 2011, going as far as declaring the sale of jasmines illegal in Beijing, and blocking the messages containing the word jasmine. The flower sellers witnessed a sharp decline in their sales!
10. The French authorities regulated Ketchup in School/College Cafeterias
As a part of the national healthy eating program, the cafeterias were allowed to serve ketchup only with the French fries, but only once weekly! The school and college cafes were instructed to maintain a record of their menus and ensure that it adhered to the national guidelines.
11. The Romanian government outlawed Scrabble in the 80’s
Nicolae Ceausescu, the Romanian dictator, regarded Scrabble as ‘overly intellectual’ and ‘a subversive evil.’
12. Shopping Bags were banned in Taiwan
Taiwan was one of the first countries to ban the shopping bags in 2003. Later, the Environmental Protection Administration allowed the food service providers to use them in 2006.
13. Valentine’s Day banned in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is quite strict about the violation of the religious norms in the country and strictly enforces a ban on Valentine’s day as well. Some shops illicitly trade red roses and other Valentine’s Day décor and gifts. All of these dealings are limited to back rooms and over the phones, you won’t be seeing everything red on the streets and in the malls.