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Top 13 Strange Bans by Governments Around the World

7. Iran prohibits Western-stylized haircuts on men. This includes ponytails, mullets, and long hair.

Iran Banned Western Hairstyles
Image credits: Various/Wikimedia, Sven Mandel/Wikimedia, J Pitts/Wikimedia, Carlos Figueroa/Wikimedia, Dave Gates/Wikimedia, Pixabay, Pixabay

Iran provides a list of pre-approved hairstyles to choose from. The list contains Muslim hairstyles, but all the styles involving long hair are a punishable offense. The crackdown came out in 2010 and it seeks to promote the Islamic culture by eradicating any Western influences within the nation.

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Be it a Mohawk, an outdated mullet, elaborate spikes, or ponytails, men will face harsh consequences for choosing them. Iran has also banned using excessive hair gels and eyebrow-plucking.

The administration strongly advocates short and conservative haircuts. The police have conducted raids on salons offering Western-style haircuts for men and alerted the owners to abolish the haircuts or to shut down the salon.(1,2)

8. African nation Burundi prohibited group jogging ever since opposition parties started using them to launch revolts.

Burundi flag, Jogging group
Image source: Wikimedia, Image credit: Pixabay, Pixabay

It is actually illegal to jog in groups in the capital of Burundi in Africa. In 2014, there was an increasing tension in the Central African nation, with the rift between the opposition and the government becoming a cause of international concern.

Opposition parties helped inspire people to launch a rebellion against the Burundi government by organizing group jogs. As the jogs were of a political nature, Burundi’s mayor, Saidi Juma, issued the ban outlawing group jogging. When the jogging activities continued in growing numbers despite the new law, the police arrested several activists and even sent them to jail.

Currently, in order to participate in group jogging, the members need to join a jogging club and register with the government. Also, jogging is allowed in only one of the nine government-approved venues.(source)

9. Greece forbids playing electronic games of all kinds. The government outlawed gaming in 2002 to prevent illegal gambling.

Greece, No Games
Image credits: cs:User:-xfi-/Wikimedia, Pixabay

The law essentially makes it illegal to play any game on mobiles, home-run computers, PlayStation, Xbox, Game Boy, or any known gaming console be it in public or at home. The regime made the cyber cafes cease their gaming services, even the constructive ones such as online chess.

The Greek government passed this rigid law and strictly enforced it with immediate effect. This particular law is among the most bizarre laws of all times.

As per the government, this law is a measure to prevent any form of illegal gambling. The law is not forgiving of foreign travelers as well. Furthermore, offenders can face a substantial fine or a lengthy imprisonment.(1,2)

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10. A Polish playground banned Winnie the Pooh in 2014 due to its “dubious sexuality” and “inappropriate” dress!

Poland Flag, Winnie the Pooh
Image credits: Mareklug, Wanted/Wikimedia, Christene S./Flickr, Pixabay

A local council meeting in Poland suggested making this lovable bear as the face of the playground in Tuszyn. However, the conservative folk met this suggestion with outrage, and one councilor went as far as calling the innocent Winnie a “hermaphrodite.”

The folk felt that the bear is half-naked and covers itself only from the waist-up which is inappropriate for small children.Moreover, they suggested a Polish fictional bear instead and compared it with Winnie by remarking that, unlike the later, the Polish bear is dressed from head to toe.

With immediate effect, the Polish councilors banned Pooh from the playground.(1,2)

11. Milan, in Italy, outlaws frowning unless you are visiting a hospital or attending a funeral.

Italy Flag, Frowning
Image source: Wikimedia, Image credits: Richard Kelly/Wikimedia, Pixabay

Milan is one of the most enchanting cities in Italy and is known for its passion. However, the city has an age-old law to ensure that its citizens look jovial.

It is a legal requirement in the Italian metropolis to not frown in public places at all times. The police can charge hefty fines on those who break this peculiar law, but the law thoughtfully exempts visitors in hospitals or attendants at funerals. It is undoubtedly one of the most baffling laws in the modern world.(1,2)

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12. It is illegal to wear noisy footwear in Capri, Italy.

Italy Flag, Flip Flops
Image source: Wikimedia, Image credits: Kai Schreiber/Wikimedia, Pixabay

Capri is a tiny island and a popular tourist spot located in Italy’s Gulf of Naples.

The government in Capri has imposed a ban on all footwear that makes an excessive noise like flip-flops, noisy sandals, and squeaky shoes. Capri is the first region to make a ban of this kind. Earlier, only airport security checks in certain countries and particular professions disallowed the use of flip-flops. It is among the most bizarre laws in the world.

Offenders can be made to pay a fine, and the offense comes with a potential arrest. There have been several cases of tourists landing into trouble with fines since the imposition of this law.(1,2)

13. Parents can name their babies only if they are on the list of pre-approved baby names in Denmark, Portugal, Iceland, and Hungary. For any other name, the parents need to apply for permission.

Banned baby names in Sweden, Saudi Arabia and Denmark
Image credits: businessinsider.com(Text), Pixabay

Many countries have imposed naming laws to prevent giving derogatory names to babies. However, a few countries have stringent laws on this, namely Denmark, Portugal, Iceland, and Hungary. In these countries, the government provides a list of few thousand approved baby names for the parents to choose from. If the parents want to keep a name which is not on the list, they need special government permission to do so, and the government charges a fee for that.

A few more countries have banned some names that are deemed offensive or humiliating within the nation. Denmark, Sweden, Saudi Arabia and some other countries have a list of more than 50 banned baby names.(source)

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