Different countries have different laws. What’s allowed in one place can be banned or illegal in another. To show you what we mean, here are more weird laws from around the world that may seem ridiculous to you. Read about them and be sure not to break them when you’re travelling to a foreign land.
1: Winnie the Pooh was banned in a Polish town
If you happen to be in Tuszyn, a small town in Central Poland, be sure not to wear your Winnie the Pooh shirt. That beloved Disney character is not welcome there, according to a 2014 story in the Independent.
The more conservative members of the local council rejected making the cuddly bear the face of the playground since he had no pants. They decided he was not a good role model for children.
Officials questioned the character’s dubious sexuality and inappropriate attire. They said that Winnie the Pooh is half-naked and only dressed from the waist up.
Also known as Pooh Bear or Pooh, Winnie the Pooh is a fictional teddy bear created by English author A.A, Milne and English illustrator E. H. Shepard. Milne named Pooh after the teddy bear of his son Christopher Robin Milne. Christopher named his teddy bear after a Canadian black bear named Winnie at London Zoo and Pooh's swan.
2: Don’t Insult Buddha in Sri Lanka
Travelling to Sri Lanka? When you see a statue of Buddha, resist the temptation of taking a selfie or posing with friends in front of the founder of Buddhism. Don’t point at the statue either. That is considered disrespectful, and you could end up in jail for your actions. Buddha tattoos are also a no-no.
In 2012, the BBC reported that three French tourists were detained for posing with Buddha statues. The tourists were caught after they went to a local photo lab to have the pictures developed. The owner of the lab alerted police to the “insulting” photos.
Fortunately, the three were released after paying a fine. Don’t make the same mistake unless you want to make a scene in Sri Lanka.
3: Don’t Cover Your Face in Denmark
Unless it’s Halloween, don’t make the mistake of wearing a mask in public in Denmark. It’s illegal to cover your face there. The ban is also being enforced in many European countries like Austria, Belgium, France, and Germany.
Clothing that hides the face like the niqab, balaclavas, ski masks, and fake beards are not allowed. Violators will be fined or sent to jail. However, protective masks, winter clothing such as scarves, motorcycle helmets, and masks worn during Carnival or Halloween celebrations are fine.
The ban took effect in 2018 and prohibits some forms of Islamic dress. Some say it targets largely Muslim refugees who enter the country. But Danish lawmakers insist this law was made to identify people during crowded events if something bad happens easily.
4: Certain types of chewing gum are banned in Singapore
When vandals messed up Singapore’s $5-billion Mass Rapid Transit system, officials got mad. Gum prevented the doors from working properly, and train services were disrupted.
Before this, chewing gum also caused maintenance problems in high-rise apartments. They were stuck in mailboxes, keyholes, elevator buttons, and on the seats of public buses. The streets, stairways, and public areas were littered with them. This made cleaning costly.
Because of this, gum was banned, and its importation was stopped in 1992. Violators were fined or imprisoned. The ban was revised in 2003. The importation and selling of chewing gum remain illegal except for therapeutic, dental, and nicotine chewing gum which have health benefits. These can be bought from a doctor or pharmacist who must keep a record of the names of buyers.
5: German highways are no place to run out of gas
Are you travelling by car in Germany? Make sure you have enough gas when you take the Autobahn or highway system. Running out of gas there is illegal, and violators face a large fine. Walking to a gas station is also not allowed. Considering that there are no mandated speed limits for some vehicles, that could be dangerous.
Germans believe that it’s your responsibility to have enough gas whenever you travel. If your tank becomes empty, no one is to blame except you.
6: Don’t feed pigeons in Venice
Piazza San Marco or St. Mark’s Square is a popular tourist spot in Venice, Italy. It attracts over one million tourists a month. The place has plenty of pigeons, and people often flock (pardon the pun) there to feed the birds. Unfortunately, this 100-year-old practice is no longer allowed.
Since 2008, the sale and distribution of grain to feed pigeons have been banned. Aside from the bird droppings that are difficult to clean, authorities said pigeons are destroying some marble statues and buildings. Birds peck at them to reach scraps of food blown by the wind and get stuck in small holes. Ignoring this ban can be expensive. So, unless you’re a bird brain, don’t forget this law.
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