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Turkmenistan - Black Cars
Car owners in Turkmenistan can’t buy a black car because their President, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, has banned them as he feels they are unlucky. If you thought that was weird, take a look at other strange bans enforced across the world.
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Jogging - Burundi
In March 2014, Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza banned jogging because he feared that it was being used as “a cover for subversion”. Several opposition leaders were jailed for breaking this law and many more given life imprisonment. What’s strange is that Nkurunziza himself is a former sports teacher and has often spoken about the importance of health and fitness.
Yellow Clothes - Malaysia
In February 2016, the country’s home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi banned wearing yellowcoloured clothes after protesters wearing yellow T-shirts created havoc on the streets, demanding Prime Minister Najib Razak’s resignation. The demand for his resignation arose from allegations of embezzlement and corruption. Unable to stop the people from marching the streets, the Prime Minister’s aide took to banning their protest colours. Predictably, it didn’t work.
Foie Gras - India
While it continues to be served up in the most soughtafter restaurants in the world, India became the first country to ban the import of foie gras, a delicacy of duck or goose liver, in July 2014. This ban was put into effect after several animal activist groups from London protested against the cruel methods used to produce the dish, which includes force-feeding the bird to enlarge its liver. This made the Indian government crack down on high-end restaurants for importing the meat and promoting it as an exotic dish.
Scrabble - Romania
Nicolae Ceausescu, the former President of the southeastern European country, banned citizens from playing Scrabble. He said the word game was “overly intellectual” and a “subversive evil”. Though the ban was eventually lifted, and now the country also has its own scrabble federation, the ban did generate some backlash, including a telegram sent to the president by artist Salvador Dalí. In it, he sarcastically congratulated Ceausescu on “introducing the presidential sceptre”.
Western Hair Cuts - Iran
Iran’s distaste for everything western probably came out in the most bizarre way in 2010 when the country banned its people from getting “Western haircuts” like spikes, ponytails or mullets. In fact, the government even sent out photo catalogues of all the haircuts which are allowed and those disallowed to people’s homes and salons. Anyone who was found breaking the rule was imprisoned or fined.