The next time you ask yourself - "Why is X more popular in country Y?" think about the following questions:
-How is the hobby perceived? Have their been particular moral panics or religious issues that might have given the hobby a certain stigma in the past?
-How is the industry behind the hobby structured? Is it easier for niche interests to get started, or is there a lot of red tape to go through?
-What's the population density like? A dense population cuts down on delivery costs and thus allows you to make a living doing much more fringe activities, because your customer base is more concentrated and you don't have to ship product long distances (which is expensive).
I guarantee you'll find the answer in one or more of those lines of inquiry.