If you grew up in a progressive, free country then it might be strange to think that some other countries have banned items you may use every day. Most people reading this article probably have the freedom of choice, especially when it comes to every day, normal decisions.
However, countries like China, Iran and Malaysia have banned their people from watching certain things on television and even wearing certain colors. This is so strange… and wrong.
Video games (Greece): This was intended to prevent electronic gambling machines, although the law was written very broadly and led to the arrest of someone playing a video game in an internet cafe.
Game consoles (China): In 2000, the Chinese government enacted a ban on gaming consoles to prevent the youth from wasting their time and not working.
Valentine’s Day (Saudi Arabia): This ban included restrictions on anything and everything red from being sold on Valentine’s Day. This eventually led to a thriving black market on the holiday.
Reincarnation without prior consent (China): This sounds crazy, but this was China’s attempt to control the Tibetan Buddhists.
Scrabble (Romania): In the 1980s, President Nicolae Ceausescu banned this game, describing it as “overly intellectual” and a “subversive evil.”
Most baby names (Denmark): There are 24,000 approved government names that parents can choose from. If they want a different name, they have to apply for permission.
Claire Danes (Manila): Claire Danes once referred to Manila as a city that was weird and smelling of cockroaches, so every film by the actress was removed from the city and the star was denied and future entry.
Yellow clothing (Malaysia): In 2011, the government decided that it was illegal to wear yellow, as it was the color of a certain group of activists.
Furbies (NSA): This wasn’t a nationwide ban, but in 1999, the NSA was afraid the toys could be used to record classified information.
Avatar in 2D (China): They allowed the movie to be released in 3D, even though there weren’t many in the country. The government didn’t agree with the political undertones of the movie.
Mannequins (Iran): Not all mannequins are banned, but the female ones must be demurely dressed in a hijab.
Chewing gum (Singapore): Since 1992, the import and sale of gum has been illegal in the city in order to keep public places clean.
Cell phones (Cuba): During Fidel Castro’s reign, only high ranking government officials were allowed to have cell phones.
Jasmine (China): The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia inspired Chinese protestors, the government decided to ban the flower.
Ketchup (France): In 2011, France banned the condiment from school cafeteria’s in order to preserve French cuisine.
Women drivers (Saudi Arabia): There is no written law that prevents women from driving, but they are not issued licenses.
Plastic bags (Bangladesh): In 2002, the country outlawed plastic bags. Soon to follow in their footsteps was France, Tanzania and Mexico.
Time travel (China): Of course China banned time travel. Due to the “frivolous” treatement of history by TV shows and movies, Chinese censors have been cracking down on time travel in the media.
Baby walker (Canada): Studies showed that babies who were taught to walk in a walker have delayed motor development. They were then banned in 2004.
McDonald’s (Bolivia): There is no law stating that there can’t be a McDonald’s, but no citizens ate at the restaurant during its stint in the country. It’s the only Latin American country without the chain.