Funny Facts about Countries



Did you know that India is a federal republic? Perhaps you did. Maybe you also know that apart from several federal states, there are also a couple of "union territories" (mainly cities). But I'm sure most of you did not know the following three strange facts:

1. At the western coast, the three union territories of Goa, Daman and Diu form one federal state. Not only do they thus have a kind of "double status", but this also means that this federal state is very fragmented, as these three territories are quite far away from each other: Diu borders the federal state Gujarat and is close to Pakistan, while Daman is about 300 km to the east of it, and Goa is in the far south of the Deccan peninsula!

2. The union territory of Chandigarh is the capital of two(!) federal states at the same time, Haryana and Punjab.

3. The two cities Delhi and New Delhi (capital of India) do not have a strict border.


This country, which was formely called East Pakistan and is landlocked by India, gets almost entirely flooed when there is high tide. Some years ago this actually happened, which threw Bangladesh's development back for some decades. In spite of that, the country's population is ranked 9th on the worldwide population charts, although it is only ranked 92nd (out of 192) on the area charts. Don't you also wonder how anyone can lead a happy life under such circumstances?


In France there's a strict law whose purpose is the "preservation of the purity of the French language". According to this law, 3500 common English words must not be used in French sentences. Violations of this law can result in a fine of up to 5000 FF (about 35000 EUR).

A similar law exists only in Argentina, where the use of foreign words which have a literal Spanish expression on billboards, signs, in the media and official messages is forbidden. This law is mainly supposed to protect the national language from English influences.


By the way: The Falkland islands ("Islas Malvinas"), which are located close to the Argentinan coast, belong to Great Britain. Perhaps you've already known that. Maybe you also know that they were the reason of a war between the two industrialized countries Argentina and Great Britain in 1982. But did you know that they are inhabited by only 2000 people?


All in all, this country is pretty interesting. Before 1940, its largest part belonged to Romania; only the part in the east of the river Dnejstr (today's "Transnistria") belonged to the former Soviet republic Ukrain. Moldova was mainly inhabited by Romanians. In 1940, whole Moldova became part of the Soviet Union. It was the USSR that created an artificial Moldovan nation and language.

Now that Moldova is an independent country, there are two big nationality conflicts:

1. In Transnistria (also called "Republic of Dnjestr"), the old communists still have very much influence. On September 2nd, 1990, this part of Moldova declared itself independent. Transnistria arranged an armistice with the rest of Moldova, but refused all offers to stay a part the country and rejected all forms of autonomy.

2. Gagauzia, a south Moldavian province, inhabited by Gagauz Turks, declared itself independent on August 19th, 1990, but they accepted the offer to re-join Moldavia. Now they have an extensive autonomy including an own system of education, bilingual signs and an independent administration. In return, they agreed not to participate in international politics.

In March 1994, there was a referendum whether Moldavia should be reunited with Romania; 90% of the electorate voted with no. At the same time the former national anthem, which was identical with the Romanian one, was abolished. The song "Limba noastra" ("our language") was chosen as the new anthem.

Interesting facts about many countries can also be found in the CIA World Factbook.


Source of information:
Harenberg Länderlexikon