Pasta la vista! Russian Pastafarian driver told to wear his 'sieve' hat – or lose his license
Muscovite Andrey Filin has become the fifth person in the world to be allowed a driving license photo containing a pasta strainer hat, the necessary headwear according to his religion - Pastafarianism.
Pastafarianism preaches of the “Flying Spaghetti Monster,” which first appeared in a 2005 open letter by Bobby Henderson to the Kansas State Board of Education. In the letter, Henderson questioned the board’s decision to teach creationism as an alternative to evolutionism in public schools.
Adherents claim that Pastafarianism is a true religion, but the media see it more as a humorous take on world religions and rules regarding religious attire.
In keeping with the spirit of the bizarre situation, the deputy head of the Moscow State Traffic Inspectorate, Vladimir Kuzin, responded with his own vision of Filin’s future as a driver. He told Russian media that “the next time he [Filin] is stopped by the traffic police, if he doesn’t have a pasta strainer on his head, his license will be taken from him.”
Kuzin added that there are no plans to change the regulations for driving license photos, saying the current rules are clear enough.
Russian traffic police stated on Tuesday that they are investigating why Filin was allowed to take the photo wearing a hat. Should it be proved that the rules were violated, the officials who issued the license could be reprimanded and the license itself annulled.
In Russia religious headwear is allowed as long as the person’s face is clearly visible. In Filin’s case, his headwear consisted of a knitted yellow pasta strainer.
Filin told RT that he will drive wearing whatever headwear he desires, or none.
“If they try to take my license away - it will be a scandal. A few lawyers have already offered me their support and I would gladly accept their help,” he said.
Pastafarians worldwide have already reached out to Filin to congratulate him on his achievement. Messages have come from various countries, including Austria, where in 2011 Niko Alm became the first man to win the legal right to be allowed a driving license photo showing him wearing a pasta strainer. It took Alm three years of legal battles before he finally won permission.