Ian O'Doherty: Re-light my funeral pyre
One of the joys of multiculturalism is the way we are all exposed to different ideas, belief systems and ways of life. For example, one of the great benefits has been the improved range of choices in food. Indeed, here in Dublin you only have to go to Parnell Street to enjoy a whole host of Korean restaurants that weren't here a few years ago.
But there are some strange new additions to daily life as well.
A rather odd human rights court case has been rumbling on in Britain for the last few years but now has come to an end.
Davender Ghai is a devout Hindu and wants to be cremated on a funeral pyre in the open air.
And, in a society obsessed with elf'n'safety regulations, authorities initially refused, saying it was against the Cremation Act of 1902.
That decision has now been overturned and Mr Ghai will now be disposed of in the manner of his choosing.
Let's hope it doesn't catch on over here -- after all, the last thing you want during the summer is to smell someone doing a lovely barbecue only to discover that that nice Hindu family down the road are roasting granddad.
ANOTHER REASON TO BAN THE BURKA
It's a story that's running across Europe.
Here in Ireland, Muslim spokespeople say that banning the burka is an affront to democracy, but when you consider that devout Muslims don't believe in democracy because it's man-made and only Allah can make the rules, that argument is a rather flimsy one.
But the most compelling reason why even the staunchest Muslim bloke should want the burka and niqab outlawed has just been reported.
A high-ranking Arab ambassador got married in Dubai the other day.
The lavish wedding cost more than a hundred grand and guests were treated to a day they will never forget.
And neither will he.
When the newly married couple retired to their wedding suite for a night of unbridled passion, our hero lovingly unveiled his bride. With chilling results.
In what surely rates as the funniest piece of straight news reporting in ages, local papers said: "(he sought a divorce) after discovering his veil-wearing fiancée had a beard and was cross-eyed."
After taking a look at her face, the Shariah judge agreed to the divorce request and one family member said: "She has a lovely personality but there's a reason why she always wore the veil."
So, Muslim lads who are still opposed to the ban -- bet you're not so sure now, eh?
THEY'RE NUTS FOR PEANUTS
This column is quite the fan of savoury bar snacks. But it would appear that our penchant for peanuts is as nought compared to the good burghers of Tunbridge Wells.
Dozens of police officers using CS gas and wielding batons had to be called to break up a street brawl involving up to 50 rioters which broke out when two of the men argued over the last pack of dry roasted peanuts.
One person who was there said: "They were telling the barman that each of them wanted the last packet and then one of them just lamped the other and then it all kicked off with half the club punching and kicking each other."
He then added with truly admirable understatement: "It was a sad end to the night."
Honestly, when will authorities clamp down on snack-related violence?
After all, who can forget the massacre in Mulhuddart a few years back when a row over a packet of Tayto cheese and onion turned nasty?