Today, the world is becoming more and more tolerant of and open to other peoples' culture and traditions. This doesn't stop outsiders from criticizing them, especially when we talk about seemingly purposeless measures like Saudi Arabia's ban on dancing at concerts. Many of the Saudi government's measures have been criticized and ridiculed by the media in the recent years - but let's not forget that it's not the only country that has bans in place that are often strange, surprising, and ridiculous. Here are a few examples below.
The frowning ban in Milan, Italy
History is filled with ridiculous regulations but the frowning ban in Milan, Italy, has to be one of the strangest. Note that this regulation has been enacted more than a century ago - but nobody bothered to repeal it to this day (but don't expect any police officers to fine you for breaking it).
Long story short, the city of Milan enacted a rule that forced locals to smile at strangers at all times - except for funerals, of course. This is one way to keep people happy - or at least apparently so - I guess...
Sarcasm is illegal in North Korea
North Korea is a secluded, isolated country but news about it break out sometimes. The one about a ban on sarcasm has emerged in the press a couple of years ago and according to several sources, it is as true as it can be. To be honest, the regulation doesn't ban sarcasm <em>per se</em> but it cracks down on any sarcastic comment directed on the country's Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un. According to the press, even indirect criticism of the government - even as a joke - is against the law there. And so are blue jeans...
The flip-flops ban in Capri, Italy
Capri is a wonderful place to spend a summer vacation at - it has everything you need, sea, sand, and sunshine. But the idyllic resort's atmosphere was continuously polluted by the noisy sandals and flip-flops, even high heels with hard tips - worn by the tourists and the locals, so the authorities decided to ban them. This measure is similar to the ban imposed by the authorities of Venice on noisy luggage and trollers with plastic wheels - anything for the peace and quiet of the tourists and locals, right?
Manila's Claire Danes ban
Declaring a person unwelcome in a country is usually reserved for politicians, diplomats, and businessmen doing very bad things. In this case, though, the one declared "persona non grata" was an actress - multiple Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe winner Claire Danes, star of the drama series "Homeland".
Apparently, Danes made a few unflattering comments about Manila in the press, which angered the Philippines' then-president Joseph Estrada. The city council of Manila banned Danes from visiting the city again - until at least she issues a "genuine public apology".