21 Bizarre Things You Didn't Know About North Korea
It's not 2017 in NK?!
If you haven't heard of the drama surrounding North Korea at this point, I'm going to presume you live under a rock. While the country is constantly on the front page of the news, not everything about the controversial country and its government is widely known.
Apart from their plans to destroy all of North America, that's just their government's priority, there are tons of citizens that live in a spot we barely know about! So to shed a little light on North Koreans and their daily lives, here are 21 bizarre things you probably didn't know about them and the country they live in!
Marijuana is legal.
Surprisingly enough, the strict country isn't strict on recreational drugs like weed! Apparently, it is very much legal in the country and not criminalized like it is in Western countries.
Alcohol isn't prohibited either.
You would think that the strict country wouldn't even offer alcohol let alone marijuana, but surprisingly they do! Looks like North Koreans can sit back and have a glass of wine after a long day just like we do!
North Koreans are apparently obsessed with Family Guy and The Beatles.
Numerous Western tourists who have visited North Korea have reported that they've heard tons of locals bringing up jokes from the American cartoon television show. As well it's been said that they love the British rock band, The Beatles!
It's not the year 2017.
In North Korea they don't operate by the year system the rest of the world does. Why? That's because they only acknowledge the time after Kim II-Sung's birth. So right now it's the year 106!
There are little to no working traffic lights.
For some reason North Korea just doesn't have a lot of traffic lights, instead, they opt to have police officers navigate drivers at intersections.
North Koreans are obsessed with accordions.
Yeah... very weird. This isn't even an "apparently" kind of fact, this is known. For some reason, the entire country as a whole is collectively obsessed with the instrument. How obsessed you ask? Look at the next fact.
During the 1990s, all teachers in North Korean were required to learn how to play the accordion.
No joke, they seriously love accordions so much that it was a requirement to become a teacher in the country. Why? So you could teach students how to play of course!
There is an actual video of North Koreans playing "Take Me On"... accordion style.
I promise this is the last accordion fact ok! Out of all the songs in the world, they chose... Take Me On. If you haven't seen this quality content, click here, you will not be disappointed.
Visiting Kim Jong II's body is the country's most popular thing to do.
Taco Tuesday? After work drinks? Sunday brunch? Nope, North Koreans don't care about any of that, they apparently just love to visit Kim Jong II's grave to pay respects.
They also like to rollerblade.
Turns out when North Koreans aren't visiting Kim Jong II's body, North Korean citizens love to rollerblade! A National Geographic photographer named David Guttenfelder had noticed it has become a popular past time during his travels to the country.
North Korea claims to have a 99% literacy rate.
Emphasis on the "claim" considering there's no way for us to actually know if they are telling the truth. Though I'm going to go off on a limb here and assume that if they aren't all literate, they at least all are pretty good at the accordion.
North Korean TV's only have three TV channels.
I don't know how North Koreans got access to Family Guy when they've only got three channels but I guess they've got their own tricks on how to slip through the cracks!
Apparently, Kim Jon II learned to walk at 3 weeks old (according to his biography).
Emphasis once again on "apparently" considering the North Korean government has a habit of romanticizing things to look more superior and powerful.
Elections are held every five years even though there is only one option on the ballot cards.
Why they even bother with the expenses associated with an election if the winner is always guaranteed is beyond me. Then again maybe it's just another way for the government to celebrate their dictator?
Denim jeans are illegal.
Doesn't matter what kind of wash, jeans are completely banned from the country! Why? Apparently, it's because jeans represent capitalist America.
North Korean women can choose from 28 pre-approved hairstyles.
If you love rocking a crazy hair-do, you definitely will not like this fact. Considering how many fun combinations and styles you can do with your hair, it sucks to think that North Korean women are limited to only 28 pre-approved styles.
North Korean men can only choose from 10.
Men have it even worse off than the women! Instead of 28 styles, they can only choose from a measly 10 hairstyles to sport.
It isn't that hard to travel into North Korea.
You would think that with all of the conflict happening in the country that it would be pretty hard for an American or Canadian to visit the country. Surprisingly it's actually really easy to get into the country, it's a lot harder to make sure you don't break the rules and get jailed though.
The country operates under a "three generations of punishment" rule.
What's the "three generations of punishment" rule? Whenever someone has committed an offense that is suitable of jail time, not only is the culprit jailed, but their entire family is. From that point on, the 2 generations that are born in jail are forced to live and die in jail. Only the fourth generation of the culprit's family are freed.
They built an entire fake village.
"Peace Village" has been dubbed as "Propaganda Village" considering the intentions of the fake village. The brightly coloured neighbourhoods were placed right by the border between North and South Korea in efforts to entice South Koreans to change sides. In actuality all of the windows and furniture are fake and nobody actually inhabits the village.
They have an insanely detailed subway system.
While the TTC can't come close to competing with transit systems like Paris', New York's and Englands', but you'd think our transit could at least compete with North Koreas! Surprisingly they've got us beat considering their train cars play music during commutes and their terminals are decorated with tons of murals, plaques and even chandeliers!
Apparently, North Koreans are on average 2cm shorter than South Koreans.
North Korea is known for being more powerful than their neighbouring country due to their amount of weapons, so naturally, you would assume that they were all super tall. It turns out South Korean citizens are actually a little taller than them! It could be due to the fact that more than 10% of all North Koreans, face undernutrition and a lack of vital protein and fat in their daily diet.