According to the Oxford dictionary, a ‘rule’ is an official statement that tells you what you must or must not do in a particular situation, even if it’s a game! But for most of us, rules make things boring. In an otherwise chaotic world, rules are meant for stabilization and fairness. Everything we do/don’t do is subject to regulations. From the earliest age, we are taught how to walk, talk, eat, behave, play, and so on. While some may say, ‘rules are for fools’, following them is crucial. Biggest decisions on world peace and global affairs are taken in amidst regulations to avoid possible conflicts. Every rule that we follow has a logical side to it. But across the world and in different cultures, certain weird rules are applicable, and they are equally important there.
Let’s have a look at some of these strange rules!
Chewing gum is a popular chewable among adults and children alike, with certain benefits like mouth-freshening effect, stabilizing stomach acid release, or simply as a pass-time activity. But some people in Singapore put gum to a very innovative but strange use; they gummed up (literally!) the Mass Rapid Transit System. The damage was so huge that the government had to spend $150,000 per year to clean up the mess. Since then, usage, marketing, and importing of gum have been banned, except for nicotine and dental gums which are of therapeutic value.
NO DRUNK COW RIDES
Visiting Scotland for the first time? Well, we pray you don’t come across cows while drunk. As per an 1872 law, it is illegal to ride a cow, horse, carriage, or steam engine in a drunk state in Scotland. Also, it is illegal to possess firearms in a drunken state, which is applaudable.
POLAND DOESN’T LIKE POOH
In Poland, Winnie the Pooh, an amiable and favorite cartoon character across the world, is considered inappropriate. The simple reason-he doesn’t wear pants. It is thought that the mascot is of dubious sexuality and does not promise a good influence on school-going children.
Better to leave your Pooh t-shirt at home, or maybe draw some pants on him! Wonder what they think about Donald Duck. Hmm.
CATCH YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE THEY CROSS
In Quitman, Georgia, it is illegal to let your chickens cross the road. The law is said to ensure restricted movement of animals on free roads, but it only applies to fowls. All other animals are not bound by the rule. Also, in Gainesville, it is illegal to use knives, forks, or any other utensils to eat fried chicken; people must use their bare hands.
A strange law in Spain forbids adults as well as children to build sandcastles on beaches. The penalty fine for doing so varies from place to place. It is said that sand is public property and that building sandcastles block the seaside view. Also, some Spanish beaches are forbidden for dogs; tourists are not allowed to bring their furry pets along with them to enjoy the sunny views.
NO FLUSHES POST 10
In Switzerland, flushing the toilet after 10 p.m. is considered noise pollution and is a chargeable offense. It is believed that doing so can disrupt people’s sleep and harmony at night. So, it’s wise to not use the toilet or if you do so, leave it afloat till dawn!
GET HITCHED OR GET OUT
In North Carolina, US, if an unmarried couple intending to share a room together claims to be married, they will be married for real! As per the law, if a man and a woman outwardly present themselves as married publicly, that will be considered marriage by law.
NO KITES IN AUSTRALIA
As per the law in Victoria, Australia, it is illegal to fly a kite or even play a game if another person is bothered by it. Even in Argentina, the capital city Buenos Aires does not allow citizens to fly kites in open public spaces except in parks.
CLEAN AFTER YOUR DOG IN CAPRI
In Capri Island, Italy, it is mandatory for people to clean after their pet canines take a dump on the road. In case one fails to do so, the DNA from the dog’s dump will be used to trace the owner and they will be fined $2,400. This has been done as a measure to keep the island clean for both tourists and the resident population.
Somewhat like the flick ‘Footloose’, Japan banned dancing in the dark at midnight in the 1940s. American occupation of Japan in 1948 made the Japanese apprehensive of the ‘Americanisation’ of Japan. Such an act was considered sinful and too liberal, a.k.a too American. Hence, to protect the Japanese culture and people from assuming such behavior, this law was mandated. Though in 2005, the government lifted this law. People can enjoy a dance after midnight today, so long it’s not in the dark!
REINCARNATION WITH PERMISSION, ONLY
In China, if a Tibetan monk wishes to ‘reincarnate’ after their death, they must obtain permission from the Chinese government. Reincarnation itself seems a far-fetched ideology, add to that this strange law. Known for their strict and often incoherent laws, the Chinese government feels this move will ‘institutionalize the incarnation management’.
NO BARGING IN ON WEDDINGS!
In Australia, it is illegal to intrude into a wedding ceremony. The same goes for funeral services as well. If found to do so, the intruder is liable to pay a $10,000 fine and can even be exempted from attending any such occasions plus a 2-year jail sentence.
Seems like the wedding crasher business is not for the Aussies!