13 Countries With The Strangest Bans

By Anisha Gupta
  • Sep 20, 2017

What if you were penalised for chewing gum in public? Or not allowed to get your Agents of Mayhem fix post-midnight? What if you were not allowed to connect with friends on Facebook? Would you bang your head against a wall? What if that too was banned? The world we are describing is not some strange dystopian construct, but actual laws in some countries around the world. Here are 15 bizarre bans that make no sense.



1. Time travel (China)

In 2015, the Chinese government decided to ban every movie and television show on time travel for two main reasons. First, they feared a growing distortion of historical events. The idea of going back to ancient times, and changing the course of events didn’t sit well with authorities. Second, they feared that their own people will develop a disrespect for the Chinese history given these films’ and shows’ odd plot twists, made-up myths, and ideals of reincarnation (which, by the way, you are not allowed to do without government approval).

The Time Machine




Lip-synching (Turkmenistan)

Turkmenistan’s former President Saparmurat Niyazov banned lip-synching in 2005 to protect the nation’s “true culture”. Well, the ban only extended to cultural events organised by the state and on television channels. And this wasn’t it. He also banned several other “unnecessary” things such as the opera, ballet, and car radios.



3. Chewing gum (Singapore)

The Lion City’s ban on the import and sale of chewing gum makes it impossible for locals to get any. As an exception, however, people with a medical prescription can purchase “therapeutic” gum from pharmacists and dentists.  

Chewing gum


4. Blue Jeans (North Korea)

Blue jeans are banned in North Korea because the colour is associated with the United States. Black jeans, however, are fine. In addition, the tyrant regime of Kim Jong-un has added piercings to the ban of ‘Western’ things.

Blue jeans


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