The myths surrounding the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan calendar are exactly that, according to a University of Regina professor of Mayan descent.
“There are two versions of this story,” said Leonzo Barreno, a journalism professor at the university. “The first is the Mayan version, but that version isn’t known because my people have not had access to tell their story. And the second version is this apocalyptic version.”
Barreno said he doesn’t know where the apocalyptic version originates from, but believes it was inspired by the upcoming end of the current Long Count Calendar cycle, which does actually occur on Dec. 21, 2012.
“What they (doomsayers) don’t discuss is that a new one begins on Saturday,” he said.
Barreno said that the belief of the end of a cycle bringing doom is completely misguided, and that each ending is actually a cause for celebration among those of the Mayan culture.
“A new era begins on Saturday ... a time for renewal,” he said. “For us, as Mayans, it is a time to celebrate ... we didn’t start the whole thing about this being the end of the world.”
According to Barreno, a lot of what drives the doomsday myth is a desire by companies and individuals to capitalize on the fear of the masses for their own gain.
See Friday's Times-Herald for more.