Wednesday, May 11, 2011

9 of the Most Bizarre Laws Worldwide

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. And this means that the traveler is better to follow the rules of foreign countries, no matter how absurd they might seem to be. Some of them might look to be more related to the culture of the country where you are arriving, while the others seem to make no sense at all!

1. Please, no bear wrestling in Alabama, USA
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Creating a law is a long, difficult process - which means bear wrestling must have been a really big problem in Alabama. In fact, that's how "Bear" Bryant, a man who would become the legendary University of Alabama football coach, earned his nickname.
Now you might be thinking bear wrestling is outlawed by extension of another law, maybe one barring cruelty to animals or animal fighting of any kind - be it dog, rooster or bear - but no. Alabama devotes an entire section of its legal code to bear wrestling-related offenses, which make everything from training a bear to wrestle to charging admission to a bear wrestling match a class B felony.

2. Women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth, Vermont, USA
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“Dear wife, I have been meaning to talk to you about this matter for some time now. However, as the law requires, I must write to you instead, despite you being sat next to me as I write this. I have noticed recently that your teeth have gone missing. As they were your adult teeth and will not grow back I hereby give you my permission to obtain a false set of teeth from the dentist. You can thank me in writing. Yours sincerely, your husband.”

3. Pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants – even in a policeman’s helmet, UK
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To all pregnant women who are reading this: if you live in the UK or next time you happen to be in the UK whilst pregnant, please remember to take advantage of this law. If you see a policeman and are desperate to pee, grab that helmet off their head and relieve yourself in it. The policeman will not be able to arrest you. It is their duty to uphold the law. They will simply have to wait politely for you to finish so they can have their helmet back.

4. It's forbidden to call a pig Napoleon in France
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Good job George Orwell was British then! The author could have been in big trouble otherwise for calling one of his pigs Napoleon in Animal Farm. Who knows, perhaps the infamous French leader had a real distaste for pork or maybe the word “pig” was used as his favourite insult? “Hey you, English pig, get away from my ‘orse!”

5. To Fail > to Jail, Bangladesh
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In Bangladesh, children 15 and older can be put in jail for cheating on their final examinations. Every year, Bangladeshi government takes strong measures to stop cheating and carries out a massive media campaign to forewarn students through print and television.

6. It's illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament in England
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The reason people are banned from dying in parliament is that it is a Royal palace. Anyone who dies there is technically entitled to a state funeral. So if they see you looking a bit sick they carry you out quickly. However, a spokesman for the House of Commons said: "The people who know about these things here say there is no basis for such a law, not to say it does not exist somewhere in writing."

7. No kissing at the train stations! France, UK
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In the most romantic country in the world - France - you are forbidden to kiss at the railway stations! The end of romantic farewell and meetings came in 1910 when it was adopted such an unusual law. It fell on the soul and the British quickly adopted the French experience. These rules apply so far, although the times and circumstances have changed. Indeed, originally it was intended to prevent delays of trains! As punishment for this offense is not provided, the maximum that could threaten the lovers – they might simply be asked to move from the apron to the parking lot.

8. Attention! Bubble Gum! Singapore
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In Singapore, chewing gum is prohibited. This rule was introduced because of the high cost and difficulty in removing stuck chewing gum from public premises. In particular, chewing gum stuck on the Mass Rapid Transit train doors stopped the trains from moving. It happened a few times and those were a few times too many.

9. Teenage girls were forbidden to have sex for 5 years to prevent AIDS, Swaziland
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On June 28, 2002, King Mswati III of Swaziland, in an attempt to protect his people from the spread of AIDS and return them to more traditional values, passed a number of edicts. Young women were to put off sex for 5 years and to wear traditional chastity tassels as an outward display of their sexual status. According to Swazi tradition girls under 18 should wear blue and yellow tassels to discourage sexual advances, while older women who are still virgins should wear red and black tassels. Also, women were warned that any woman wearing pants could face the possible punishment of having the pants publicly torn off by soldiers and torn to pieces. 
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1 comment:

  1. Well, I certainly wouldn't want to wrestle a bear, so I guess it's safe to say I won't be breaking that law ever.


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