Maya demand an end to doomsday myth

2012-10-25 13:02

Guatemala City - Guatemala's Mayan people accused the government and tour groups on Wednesday of perpetuating the myth that their calendar foresees the imminent end of the world for monetary gain.

"We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles," charged Felipe Gomez, leader of the Maya alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop.

Several films and documentaries have promoted the idea that the ancient Mayan calendar predicts that doomsday is less than two months away, on 21 December 2012.

The Culture Ministry is hosting a massive event in Guatemala City - which as many as 90 000 people are expected to attend - just in case the world actually does end, while tour groups are promoting doomsday-themed getaways.

Maya leader Gomez urged the Tourism Institute to rethink the doomsday celebration, which he criticized as a "show" that was disrespectful to Mayan culture.

Experts say that for the Maya, all that ends in 2012 is one of their calendar cycles, not the world.

Sacred events

Gomez's group issued a statement saying that the new Maya time cycle simply "means there will be big changes on the personal, family and community level, so that there is harmony and balance between mankind and nature".

Oxlajuj Ajpop is holding events it considers sacred in five cities to mark the event and Gomez said the Culture Ministry would be wise to throw its support behind their real celebrations.

More than half of Guatemala's population of nearly 15 million are from indigenous groups of Mayan descent.

The Mayan calendar has 18 months of 20 days each plus a sacred month, "Wayeb", of five days. "B'aktun" is the largest unit in the time cycle system, and is about 400 years. The broader era spans 13 B'aktun, or about 5 200 years.

The Mayan culture enjoyed a golden age between 250 AD and 900 AD.

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-10-25 13:23

    Anyone who believes this crap is hoping that the world does end.

      Desilusionada - 2012-10-25 13:53

      When does Mangaung end? The world will certainly end if suddenly some capable people are elected that can be voted for in 2014. In which case it will happen in 2014. When Jesus comes.....

      louwhan.hoffmann - 2012-10-25 14:00

      OK, I sort of hoped there would be a big change, noth the end. A time of more awareness and compasion. 2 months seem little to trigger that if you look at the world today...

      denise.labuschagne.54 - 2012-10-26 06:43

      i thought the mayans just disappeared a 1000 years ago..

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-10-25 13:55

    All I know is that if Parasite Zuma is re-elected to run for a 2nd term as SA president at Mangaung in Dec, then that's the end of South Africa as we know it i.e. Goodbye 3rd world,Hello 4th.............bottom line.

  • wesley.bischoff - 2012-10-25 13:57

    Religious people hoping for the rapture. Craaaaaazeeeeee

  • herman.kramer.988 - 2012-10-25 14:04

    The World will never end. Sounds like a new title for James Bond!

  • diran.pillay - 2012-10-25 14:07

    What might definately happen in our life time is WW3,something we should worry about.

  • lulama - 2012-10-25 14:37

    World will not end BUT humans will be extinct some day.

      LanfearM - 2012-10-25 15:56

      Well, even the earth itself will end eventually in billions of years when our sun burns out. But yes, I think humans will be extinct long before the earth is gone.

  • LanfearM - 2012-10-25 15:55

    Woohoo! At last the experts go global to say what a lot of us already know, that it is the end of a time cycle for the Mayans, not the end of the world!

  • mo.haarhoff - 2012-10-25 16:17

    Well, I sure am glad they got that in before it was too late for me to buy Christmas presents! I'm happy to hope for the second coming tho' because that puts the ANC out on it's ear, says the gospel according to Zuma.

  • angela.botha.33 - 2012-10-26 02:30

    Just parties planned for the 21st December here,thats all

  • - 2012-10-26 06:36

    If there are no other options then we can get Chuck Norris to stop the world ending.

      janalbert.vandenberg - 2012-10-26 08:53

      Chuck Norris is an andriod. And he was created by Donald Knuth :-)

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