Why Finland bans the weirdest things

"Tervetuloa", Finnish welcome sign


Somewhere along the line, someone figured out a great job for themselves: Ban things. It doesn´t matter what, just think of something for whatever reason you happen to think of at the moment. It´s a convenient way to make yourself seem important, and have an actual impact on the world. Not to mention banning things is way easier than suggesting constructive ideas and improvements on society.

Excessive banning is not exclusively a Finnish phenomenon, but what is astounding, is our ferocity in enforcing our regulations. No matter how silly, we take them seriously. Next week when somebody comes up with a new regulation, that will prohibit the sale of carrots on Tuesdays, two things will happen: First, we will shake our heads and laugh. Next, we will form a task force unit that will patrol convenience stores on Tuesdays.



Don´t believe us? Check out these funny things somebody somewhere wanted to ban.

Man eating liquorice pipe candy while driving

Photo by Henri Bergius

Liquorice pipes are evil!

Why? Because they look like pipes and therefore invite innocent children to smoking, drugs, and satanism. It has not yet been scientifically proven that liquorice acts a gateway drug, but better safe than sorry, right? Liquorice pipes have been banned, and released for sale an embarrassing amount of times, because…it keeps somebody somewhere busy. At the moment, the sale of liquorice pipes is not forbidden, but they are considered as tobacco-imitation products, and as such, they will not gather bonus points on your customer account, you naughty person.



VHS copy of Die HArd

Bruce Willis should not walk on broken glass!

This is one of the funnier examples of how the official board of censors wanted to protect their citizens. There´s a scene in Die Hard, where Bruce Willis walks barefooted on broken glass. Ever loving and protecting, the censors cut this scene from the video-release. It is not official how many lives were saved, but it has to be a lot, otherwise, this would just have been a random act of vandalism. The funny cuts don´t end there, many movies like Robocop, Predator, True Romance or any Seagal-film looked a lot different here than the rest of the world. The days of movie censorship are over now, which might explain the sudden uprising of chainsaw massacres in our country.



Beer brands on trucks are the devil´s work.

A couple of years ago this country was a mess, simply because the beer delivery trucks were allowed to have popular brand names on their sides. “Not on my watch”, said somebody, and the naughty trucks were all repainted. Thanks to the government everything´s a-ok now. Or have you involuntarily gone on a 5-day bender, and woken up in the gutter recently? That´s right you haven´t, and it´s all because you can´t see the brand names on trucks anymore.



No beer for you before 9 am.

This regulation apparently eliminates the supply for people who set the alarm at 7 to dash off for more beer. So if you´re at the checkout at 8:55, tough luck. Of course, there is a loophole to this. A clever consumer can buy some extra alcohol the day before and set the alarm at 7 to get wasted at the crack of dawn. Someone should put a stop to this.


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Ville NummenpääVille used to play guitar, compose, and write lyrics for the bands Euthanausea and Skyward. He is now embarking on a new career writing TV-screenplays, articles, short stories, and possibly stage plays. His screenwriting debut was for the tv-show Kimmo (2012-), and he is currently developing other new exciting projects for TV, cinema, and radio. His first published work on page was for an anthology Adverbially Challenged (2016), a book for writers, by writers. When not writing, you can find him on the sofa watching movies or blasting some death metal.

Title photo by Dave_S

10 replies

  1. Try being in Norway. Even Life of Brian was banned in FULL… not to mention snowmobiles, jetskis, skateboards, segways, alcohol after 8 in the shops, beer at any sports arrangement, any alcohol logo visible anywhere, liquirice pipes (here too, but you can buy them from the airport taxfree, hidden in the tobacco department..) and so on… local radio was banned until 1982.

      • That was also the case in Finland. Radio broadcast was a state monopoly until early 80’s. Television was a different case, there was a commercial TV network, but it was allocated time on the two public broadcast channels. We got our first fully commercial TV channel in 1986 (a couple of years later it merged with the before mentioned network).

  2. Beer brands are band not true. Here in Helsinki there is a Koff tram and also a koff hot air balloon flew over head the other night

    • Neither a tram or a hot air balloon is a truck though, is it? 🙂 Prob why they have trams and balloons

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