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Thursday, February 8, 2018

10 Great Things That Other Countries Do

I'm generally proud of the land I live in (current government leadership notwithstanding), but I'm also fascinated by the customs, laws and culture of other countries. I've collected some of my favorites and thought I'd share them with you today:

1. In Finland, every newborn baby is given a "baby box" by the state. It includes clothing, blankets, a snowsuit and mittens, diapers, bathing supplies, a picture book and a teething toy - along with nursing pads and condoms. The box also doubles as a sleeping crib!

2. In Barbados, everyone citizen who turns 100 gets to be on a postage stamp.

3. In France, it is against the law for supermarkets to throw food away. They are required to donate it to charities and food banks instead.

4. In Europe, there are many countries that offer free university to their citizens and some even subsidize their college students while they study.

5. Estonia has country-wide free wi-fi.

6. In Bali, the entire country goes silent for a day of contemplation and meditation. Known as "Nyepi," this is done in conjunction with the New Year. No fires may be lit, minimal talking is allowed and no travel, work or leisure activities are permitted. Everyone remains at home in contemplative silence for a day, and then they celebrate loudly and vigorously the following day.

7. In the German and Austrian alps, they hold finger pulling contests that are a serious big deal. The Fingerhakeln is a matter of pride for the region, and draws crowds from all over Europe.

8. In Japan, broken pottery is often repaired with gold to illuminate the cracks. This practice, known as Kintsugi, is meant to show the beauty of the flaw, a philosophy that encourages you to live in the moment and acknowledge the cracks and flaws that have made you who you are.

9. Canada offers a direct line to the Federal Government for any citizen who wants to call them. They only have to dial 1-800-O-CANADA. Seriously.

10. Ten countries have official government programs that study UFOs. Maybe we'll finally find the gorgeous alien men who seek earth women for fun and frolic. A girl's gotta dream, right?

I hope you enjoyed my enlightening list. I've got a few more, but they can wait for the next info dump.

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