News Column

Mayan End-of-world Hype Is 'Sensationalism,' Says Nobel Peace Laureate

Dec 18, 2012

The hype surrounding end-of-the-world fears based upon a reading of an ancient Maya calendar is based on "false" interpretation of that culture's world view, according to a Guatemalan indigenous leader and Nobel laureate.

Rigoberta Menchu, awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1992, said the current interpretation is tainted by modern capitalism.

"Sensationalism overpowered us, but the good thing is that all this expectation is going to end on (December) 21, so us Mayas can talk on the 22nd," Menchu said late Monday in the Mexican city of Merida, at a Maya Culture Festival.

Experts have stressed that the Mayas only spoke of December 21, 2012 as the end of an era and the start of another, not the end of the world altogether.

Menchu, who belongs to the Maya-Quiche ethnic group, said Friday should be taken as a "spiritual date to ask for forgiveness," in comments published by Mexican media.

"It is false that humanity is coming to an end, because humanity dates a long way back. We have to make the most of it to ask for forgiveness for all the evil we have done over time," she said.

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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