China: Avatar in 2D
While the army in Avatar is undoubtedly American, the idea of people siding with an indigenous population against an imperialistic force is something that China was not comfortable with. That's why shortly after the release of the movie in China, the authorities decided the movie could only be shown in 3D. Since there are very few 3D theaters in China, the move was effectively a ban on the film.
Russia: Emo Clothing
Plenty of people don't like emo fashion, but while it's not that weird for a parent to tell their kids they can't wear it outside the house, it's entirely different when the whole government takes such a drastic stand. When the Russian government was trying to stop high suicide rates amongst teens, they decided emo fashion was to blame. The government went so far as to dub the style “a threat to national stability” before banning people from wearing emo clothing to public schools or government buildings. Don't worry, sullen teens of Russia, you can still listen to all the forlorn emo music you want, you just can't dress like you listen to it.
China: Reincarnation Without Prior Consent
On the face of it, the idea of banning someone from reincarnating without obtaining the state's permission is preposterous and something they absolutely can't control. In reality, this measure is their way to trying to take control of the Tibetan Buddhists (including the Dali Lama himself) by trying to rule over one of their most sacred beliefs.
Iran: “Western” Hair Cuts
The government of Iran has banned all hair cuts that are not included in their list of government-approved styles. Banned styles include mullets, ponytails and spikes. Barber shops that fail to follow the law can be shut down and penalized.
Saudi Arabia: Valentine's Day
Saudi Arabia finds Valentine's Day to be in violation of Muslim beliefs. In order to ensure residents don't secretly send gifts to their Valentine's, the government orders all florists and gift shops to remove anything red or otherwise considered to be a symbol of romance prior to the holiday. Apparently, the ban on the holiday isn't entirely successful and the country now has a thriving Valentine's Day black market where lovers can buy red roses and other tokens of romance at around six times their ordinary prices.
Denmark: Most Baby Names
The country has some of the strictest child naming guidelines in the entire world. In fact, citizens of the country can only select names on a list approved by the government or they must seek permission from the government for an exception to the rule. Right now, the officially approved names list contains only around 24,000 names.
After the “Jasmine Revolutions” in Tunisia, Chinese protestors were inspired to spark their own revolution. As a result, authorities cracked down not only on the rebels, but on the flower itself. The plant is now banned in the country, as are songs about the flower and text messages including the word “jasmine.”