With the evolution of a civilized society, the need for regulating human behaviour arose to maintain discipline between different sects of culture. To control the acts of individuals, the necessity for imposing penalties was realized which led to the formation of rules, regulations, and laws by the ruling authorities to be followed by people in general failing which culprits were penalized as per the density of crime committed by them. In ancient times, religion was given the utmost importance and therefore laws were linked with religion to gain public confidence. Hence, today we see that most of the customs followed during old times have taken the shape of laws. Article 13(3)(a) of the constitution defines law as an ordinance, order, bye-law, rule, regulation, notification, custom, or usage having in the territory of India the force of law. Every country has a different set of laws that its citizens are bound to follow although some of which might sound highly unusual and abrupt. Let us take a look at some of the weirdest and interesting laws prevailing in countries around the globe.
No Bubble Gums in Singapore
It is not beef but chewing gum banned in this island city-state in Southeast Asia. In the year 1992, Singapore prohibited the use of chewing gums and blowing bubbles with the only exception of it being used for dental purposes. The ban was imposed under the Regulation of Imports and Exports (Chewing Gum) Regulations with a hefty fine of $100,000 or imprisonment for up to two years with the motive to avoid any disruption in Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Services and to eradicate litter problems in public places.
Be Careful Husbands
It is not just a crime in the eyes of your wife but also illegal in Samoa for husbands to forget their wife’s birthday. Well, ‘Happy Birthday Wifey!’ is more than enough to not get penalized.
“Please Come In”
In Scotland, the law of allowing everyone who knocks at your door under the urgency to pee was voted the 5th most ridiculous law of United Kingdom in the year 2008. The said law is said to be brought into existence following the principle of hospitality as it goes long back to constituting a local custom.
Smile when in Milan
Either pay a hefty fine or simply smile when in Milan, Italy. This long-standing customary happy law was enforced with a motive to release stress and promote humanity amongst folks though its exceptions include people going to funerals or hospital or visiting an ill family member.
Shhhh it’s 10pm in Switzerland
Just like India has banned playing loud music after 10pm on normal days and specifically on special occasions, the urban myth of flushing your toilet post 10pm in Switzerland is doing rounds since forever. The reason behind both these bans is to avoid any inconsiderate annoyance or disturbance to ones’ neighbourhood since the time between 10pm to 7am is considered a peaceful resting time for all.
Swacch Car Abhiyaan in Russia
Not just clean yourself up before leaving the house but also your car in Russia. The road system and traffic rules in Russia make it mandatory for a car driver to clean his car properly before getting it on-road or pay on the spot fine extending up to 500 roubles. Such dramatic road rules have been formed so that the number plate and the face of the driver are clearly visible in case of any breach of traffic rules.
Stay on the Ground
Do not behave like a monkey by climbing a tree when in Oshawa, Ontario. The bye-law prohibiting the abovementioned act states: “No person shall interfere with a tree or part of a tree located on municipal property, including but not limited to attaching, affixing or placing upon in any manner any object or thing to a tree or part of a tree, and climbing the tree. Since all laws are made for the welfare of the public at large, the same law has been formulated keeping the safety of Canadians in mind.
No Innovative Baby Names
In Denmark, a couple cannot name their kid COVID or Corona. The Government of Denmark holds an official child naming guideline consisting of 7,000 approved names list. In case parents of a newborn are willing to name their baby something other than the ones mentioned in the official list, they need to get approval from the government.
Pay $700 to Feed Pigeons
The act of feeding pigeons in St. Mark’s Square Venice has been banned since 2008 keeping the safety of monuments in mind from continuous pecking of pigeons. Though this decision led to numerous vendors losing their jobs, it has been made with the motive to secure the monuments from any irreparable damage. In case someone is caught doing this illegal act, he will have to pay a fine worth €700. Along with this, the government has also prohibited wearing high heels while visiting ancient shrines in Greece.
Kai Po Chhe
Speaking of India, the state of Kerala has brought a law in force to control the population in the State by adopting 2 child policy, and in case a couple breaks the policy, the third child will cost them a fine of Rs. 10,000/-. To my shock, flying a kite has been held illegal under the Indian Aircraft Act, 1934. As per Section 2(1) of the said act, an aircraft has been defined as a machine that derives support in the atmosphere from the reaction of the air that includes balloons, airships, kites, gliders, and flying machines. In case of negligent kite flying the act imposes a punishment of 2 years or a fine up to Rs. 10,00,000/-
No Winnie the Pooh in Poland
Due to the inappropriate half-naked dressing sense of Winnie the Pooh, he has been banned in Poland and a new version of fully covered Winnie from head to toe prevails in the country.
No Selfies with Buddha in Sri Lanka
With the selfie game in trend, the Sri Lankan government has held taking a selfie with Lord Buddha illegal as turning your back towards Buddha is regarded as a sign of disrespect and hurts the religious sentiments of about 70% of the country’s population which follows Buddhism. Even pointing your feet or fingers towards the statue and disobeying ‘no photograph’ signs is considered offensive in nature.
Sorry kids, No Sandcastles in Spain
On May 3, 2017, the Spanish municipality of Calvia made an announcement penalizing tourists who build castles at the sea coast of Magaluf in Majorca. The said law has been implemented to keep the beach in good order.
Just One Glass of Wine
The state of Bolivia situated in South America prohibits married women from drinking more than one glass of wine in a public gathering. In case a married woman infringes on the said law, such infringement gives birth to a new ground of divorce for her husband. Though formulating such laws promote inequality between men and women, the reason behind implementing such a law is to avoid any sexual appeal by a woman as women possess more amount of moral and sexual lax as compared to men.