It’s important to get to know the laws and forbidden practices in a country before visiting. In some cases, being aware of a country’s extreme laws around something can save you a ton of trouble.
Did you know, for example, that spitting, chewing gum and smoking in public can get you fined in Singapore? In this case, there are a number of complicated and interesting reasons for why these laws exist.
Some other absurdly extreme laws and banned practices are old and antiquated. They exist because they were made hundreds of years ago but no one bothered to abolish them. On top of that, they’re so weird and specific to a period in time that most authorities either don’t know about them or just don’t care for reinforcing them.
Funnily enough, there are a lot of countries in the world with a mix of odd things they forbid. Here are some of the more interesting ones.
Even today, there are 7 US states where atheists are forbidden from holding public office positions. This law is in place according to what their constitutions say.
Kinder Eggs are banned in the US. The main reason for this is because, according to the Food and Drug Administration, the toys inside the chocolate pose a choking hazard for children.
There’s an old British law that’s worth knowing. It’s considered an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing a monarch’s face upside down. So, be careful with how you send your mail in England!
It’s illegal to name a pig Napoleon in France. Apparently, regardless of how the population feels about the great general, the consensus is that everyone should respect his memory.
In Norway, a law protects all female dogs and cats from being spayed. Only male dogs and cats can be neutered, according to this law.
In Argentina, there is a law that states all night clubs must play the same amount of tango as much as they play other types of music. This is perhaps an attempt to keep that nationalism alive, even when you’re dancing and drinking.
In Bangladesh, children aged 15 and older can be sent to jail for cheating at school. This seems a bit harsh, but perhaps fear is the best way to stop cheaters
In Victoria, Australia, there is a law that states that only certified electricians can change a lightbulb. Obviously, this one is impossible to reinforce, but it’s worth noting.