What makes a country weird? Perhaps its history, its government system, or some cultural oddities that just make it stand out? All countries are weird in some way, but some really do stand out.
North Korea is worlds apart from, well, the rest of the world. The thing is, we don’t know very much about it at all. It separated from South Korea in the mid-1900s during a communist uprising. Today it has a strict communist government, and very few people are allowed to enter and leave. When North Koreans try to cross the border into neighboring South Korea, they are often fired at by their military. We know that North Korea has high levels of poverty and malnutrition, along with an aggressive nuclear weapons program.
Romania, quite modern and neatly embedded into post-communist Europe, could be considered a weird country because of its history. Its region of Transylvania gave rise to vampiric lore and was the fictitious birthplace of the literary Dracula. Before Bram Stoker’s famous novel that brought vampires into mainstream culture, Romania was the home of the terrifying Vlad Dracul. Dracul – from whom Dracula got his name – also known as “Vlad the Impaler” because of his favored method of executing his enemies, was so feared that one legend suggests he placed a golden cup in the middle of a village. The villagers were so terrified of him that, despite their immense poverty, no one dared touch it.
The United Kingdom is pretty weird, but we don’t think of it because its weirdness has become so typical. It has a prime minister, who fulfills a role similar to the United States president, but also a monarch. Moreover, the ruler today has very few powers that he or she (currently a she, Queen Elizabeth) can exercise but is officially the head of the Church of England, or Anglican Church. To make things even more strange, the monarch is the ceremonial head of all of the United Kingdom, but the United Kingdom consists of four countries, not just the country whose church he or she leads. Those four countries are England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They are all countries but function similarly to states in the United States, but they aren’t states, just like the prime minister isn’t a president. Weird, huh?
Your own country is probably pretty strange, as well.