10 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Asia
By Natalie Zamora
Planning on making a trip to Asia? It might be fun to do some research first. And even if you’re just staying put wherever you are right now, that’s okay! You’ll still be amazed by these interesting facts about the continent. Since there are 48 countries in Asia, there’s a lot of cool things about the place.
Here are 10 facts you might not know about Asia!
10. Bangkok is Not the City’s Real Name
Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok is also known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon. However, it has an extremely long ceremonial name. Ready to hear it? The official name is: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit.
OK, now try saying that whole thing.
9. Being Fat is Illegal in Japan
Believe it not, Japan passed a law back in 2008 to make obesity illegal. The ‘Metabo Law’ requires every citizen between 40 and 74 to get their waistlines checked. Men cannot have a waistline above 33.5 inches, and women above 35.4. If you exceed the limit, you are provided dietary guidance. If that doesn’t work, you might even get a financial penalty.
8. Everyone in Vietnam Shares the Same Birthday
This isn’t as bizarre is it sounds- not everyone is born on the same day, they just start counting their age the same day. Everyone’s birthday is on Tet Nguyen Dan, which is determined on the cycle of the moon and is every year on a different date. So, date of birth and birthday are two way different things!
7. South Korea Has a Valentine’s Day For Single People
South Korea has multiple days celebrating what we call Valentine’s Day, so it’s only fair the single people have time to celebrate as well.
April 14th is an unofficial holiday known as Black Day, where single people get together and hang out over a bowl of jajangmyeon, the black noodle dish that inspires the day’s name.
6. In Thailand, No One Cuts Their Hair on Wednesdays
In Thailand, people take superstitions very seriously. That’s why when a day is bad luck for haircuts, you don’t get one then. Period.
That’s the case on Wednesdays. But if you want good luck, get a haircut on Monday, because that’s supposed to bring good fortune.
5. India Produces More Mangoes Than Any Country
The juicy and delicious fruit are most popular in India, and it’s kind of a national obsession. They produce 12 million tons every year! Because mangoes are in season just 3-4 months a year, fruit markets for mango flavored drinks try to feed the need.
4. Nepal Was the First Country to Legalize Gay Marriage
Nepal seems to be above its time. Not only was it the first country to legalize gay marriage, but they were also the first to ban the death penalty, which still exists in many Asian country.
3. Japan is Home to Many People Over 100
Japan might be the place to live if you wish to live forever! There are about 50,000 people over 100 years old in the country.
2. China Only Has One Time Zone
Although China is roughly 3,200 miles wide, which is large enough to cover about five different time zones, the country still one has one national time zone. This has been in place since the Chinese Civil War in 1949. The reasoning behind this is mostly political.
1. In India, People Only Eat With Their Right Hands
One peculiar Indian custom is that they only eat with their right hand. This comes from an older rule that a person is supposed to eat with their right hand and use their left hand as toilet paper in the bathroom. Even now, it’s hard to find a bathroom that has toilet paper, except for super tourist-y areas.