First, there was Y2K. Then, there was that guy who spent his life’s saving taking out bus ads proclaiming the end of the world. And today, the end of the Mayan calendar was supposed to signal doomsday. Except, that was never really the case according to the Mayan’s of Bensonhurst, otherwise known as Guatemalans of Mayan descent.
Bath Beach and Bensonhurst is home to New York’s own little Mayan enclave, and no one there even batted an eyelash.
“Everything is normal,” Balbino Antoño Say Garcia said from behind the counter of Tienda Guatemalteca La Chapincita on Bath Avenue, writes the New York Times. “No one is talking about the end of the world here, not at all.”
A reason why the chatter is mostly skeptical there could be that most of Guatemalans are Christian.
“The Bible says we don’t know when the end is going to come, but we should be prepared,” Say Garcia stated.
At the Jovenes Cristianos Evangelical Church on 17th Avenue church member Jeremiah De Jesus, said that most locals heard of the Mayans apocalypse theories from American-made media.
“In Guatemala,” he said, “nobody that I know who is Mayan is even talking about it.”
According to Ronaldo Camacho of Guatemalan immigrant-rights group, Migua, the end of the calendar signifies a day of celebration, not mourning when the winter solstice brings a 394-year cycle to an end. That cycle is called b’ak’tun. Doomsday believers understood the end of the cycle to mean the end of humanity. However, according to Camacho, the end of the cycle just means that another one is due to start.
Camacho said that the predictions are actually “a disrespect to the Mayan culture and the indigenous people of Mayan descent.”
Why didn’t anyone just ask these folks to begin with?