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I Swear Not: Strange International Laws you never Knew Existed

international law day

Culture clashes can occur when you travel to a new place. New places lead to new laws as well. Every country has its importance and every country’s laws are different. Laws are made to protect our general safety and ensure our rights as citizens. The laws serve different purposes such as establishing standards, maintaining order, resolving disputes, and protecting liberties. Sometimes these laws point to important cultural values but, sometimes they are ridiculously strange.

 When you are travelling you simply don’t want to be embarrassed or end up behind the bars. So, here is the list of those weird laws around the world you may not know to exist:

chew gum on road

•IT’S ILLEGAL TO CHEW GUM IN SINGAPORE:  Everyone loves to blow bubbles after chewing gum but, it can cost you getting behind the bars or a good amount of fine in Singapore. After some rowdies used chewing gum to mess with Mass Rapid Transit System and caused an issue, Housing and Development Board had to spend $15,000 a year to clean gum litter. This led Singapore to ban all gum substances in 1992. Anyone who is selling or making gum in Singapore can get fined or be sentenced to jail time. However, there are exceptions such as nicotine and dental gums which offer therapeutic values.


•VICKS INHALERS ARE FORBIDDEN IN JAPAN: Under Japan’s strict anti-stimulant drug laws, over-the-counter allergies or sinus medications that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine are banned. Medications that contain codeine are also banned in the respective country. Be prepared to deal with a blocked nose as carrying one of these in Japan could land you in prison or with a fine.


•IT’S ILLEGAL TO FEED PIGEONS IN SAN FRANCISCO: Feeding pigeons can make your day better, apparently San Francisco doesn’t allow you to do so. According to section 486 of the municipal police code, feeding pigeons is illegal. Overfed pigeons produce unnaturally large eggs, which are weaker. Another reason is keeping your neighbourhood clean and controlling the pigeon population by not feeding them. If you’re caught feeding pigeons, you could face a heavy fine. Citizens are asked to report pigeon feeders to the police as well.

Photography rule in Kazakhstan

•USE YOUR CAMERA IN KAZAKHSTAN CAREFULLY:  Photography in and around the airports of Kazakhstan is illegal. Taking pictures of official buildings and the military is banned as well. Now, you can’t capture one last moment of your family in the airport before boarding the plane.


•DON’T GO AGAINST BABY-NAMING GUIDELINES IN DENMARK: Parents-to-be is not allowed to be much creative with their baby’s name. Under Denmark’s Law of Personal Names, a parent’s final choice must come from a pre-approved list of 7,000 names. There are 3,000 names for boys and 4,000 names for girls. However, if people want to go with something out of the list, they need to get the government’s approval for it. It is really hard to get a name approved by the government as about one eleven thousand names are reviewed a year and half of them get rejected.

High Heels in Acropolis

•IT’S ILLEGAL TO WEAR HIGH HEELS TO THE ACROPOLIS: Make sure not to pack high heels and have the right shoes for your trip to Greece. The country banned high heels at the Acropolis in 2009. Eventually, the Greeks put this ban in place to protect the floor of their ruins from damage caused by the sharp shoes. The Ancient ruins are nearly 2500 years old, so wearing soft-soled shoes is important.

UAE Penal Code

•DON’T SWEAR IN THE U.A.E: Sounds like no big deal but in the United Arb Emirates, swearing could get you fined or even deported. “Swearing disgraces the honour or the modesty of a person”, stated the UAE Penal Code. This isn’t only limited to saying cuss words aloud. It includes indecent physical gestures as well. The law can extend to your text messages and social media and any cuss word or even indecent emoji will lead you to trouble.  


•IT’S ILLEGAL TO BUILD A SANDCASTLE IN SPAIN: This law includes both kids and adults. Spain can despise making sandcastles to the point that you could be fined if caught building one. The number of fines varies by location as you could pay $100 to $1700 as well.

best wine in Bolivia

•MARRIED WOMEN CAN ONLY HAVE ONE GLASS OF WINE IN BOLIVIA: Sounds sexist enough but the law really does exist. A single woman in La Paz can drink up as much as she wants but if you are married, it’s just one glass of wine for you. It is believed that alcohol would make a woman more immoral. If married women drink more than one glass of wine, their husbands could actually divorce them.

Payment Condition in Canada

•IT’S ILLEGAL TO PAY WITH TOO MANY COINS IN CANADA: Under the Currency Act of Canada when making a payment that is more than $10, people are not allowed to pay with more than a single coin. So, don’t empty your piggy bank for purchases in Canada.

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