Did you ever think that you could be arrested for chewing gum? How about eating in public? Or giving someone a Valentine’s Day card? Believe it or not, these are all punishable offenses in different countries across the globe. They may seem strange to you, but they often have an important cultural meaning.
So the next time you find yourself on a backpacking adventure or even just a family vacation, keep some of these laws in mind and try to be respectful of them. You may end up keeping yourself out of deep trouble if you end up visiting a number of foreign countries.
1. If you’re headed to Singapore, leave your gum at home. The nation has completely banned the sale of chewing gum in an effort to keep the streets clean.
2. When traveling to a predominantly Muslim country, women are required dress modestly. The penalties can range from a simple warning to time in prison.
3. The Autobahn is probably the world’s most famous highway, but don’t stop to take any pictures. Stopping on the Autobahn can get you a huge fine.
4. If you find yourself giving birth in Denmark, check the registry of approved baby names because your child’s new moniker has to be approved by the government.
5. Forget about having a jogging buddy in Burundi. Group jogging was banned in the African country under the fear that citizens would organize an uprising through the activity.
6. If you’re getting married in the United Arab Emirates, make sure you’re with the exact right person, because living together before marriage can land you both in prison.
7. Celebrating Valentine’s Day is banned in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The Muslim countries refuse to recognize the holiday as it celebrates a love that is not directed to God.
8. Public displays of affection are not allowed in countries such as Qatar, Indonesia, and Thailand. Making out in public can result in fines or even jail time.
9. If you get caught eating in public during Ramadan in the United Arab Emirates, you may end up fined or imprisoned, even if you’re not Muslim.
10. There is a law known as “unjust vexation” in the Philippines. So if you’re having a conversation with someone there, make sure you’re not confusing them.
11. Consuming alcohol goes against the Muslim religion. Therefore, drinking is banned in most Muslim countries, such as Yemen and Kuwait. Drinking can lead to a serious prison sentence.
Keep these laws in mind the next time you travel and you may just manage to enjoy your trip to a hotel rather than a stay in prison.