Things you didn't know about other countries until now.

I was looking up Alford pleas (pleading guilty while claiming innocence) on Wikipedia when I found out that most other countries, especially ones that use civil law, do not have plea bargaining at all. I found that a little strange to think about, given that it has a very prominent role in the American judicial system.

So what did you learn recently about other countries that you didn’t know before? I’m looking more for things you had previously expected that everyone had, not something like how many wineries are in France.

Vox Imperatoris

A classmate of mine worked in the Marshall Islands for a year. She told me recently that people there don’t get married, at all. Serial monogamy is the rule, with no ceremonies or anything to mark that this is a special relationship.

I didn’t know that such a thing as an Alford plea existed in the United States. We don’t have them in Canada - if the accused pleads guilty but says to the court that he doesn’t think he is guilty, the court can’t accept the plea.

In Germany, for the night before the first day of school stuff, everybody goes to the local church for the meeting and prayer stuff. (This could be a regional thing, I don’t know. But I went with zee cousins and was completely lost in the dealings of it all.)

Seperation of Church and State doesn’t seem to exist there.

It exists, they just define it in a different way than you do. In many locations, the church is, or was for a long time, the biggest building set up for meetings; the prayer part is perceived as an “invitation,” it simply doesn’t occur to them that it may be perceived as offensive by anybody (including atheists) any more than the people starting the fiestas in my homeland thing that yelling “¡Viva San Fermín!” or whomever the local saint happens to be involves any separation of church and state issues.

Lots of national holidays in European countries are religious in origin but then, I think people in the US get Christmas day off too…