Musings about academe in haphazard fashion.
I thought I was hearing things in the movie 2012, until I found someone else had heard it, too. In the background of the film that I have watched in parts and pieces many times over the past year on FX, I never caught the glitch. There is a news announcer discussing the Maya calendar as the “Quiche”, pronounced like the French savory pastry, rather than “K’iche”, as in the highland Maya people of Guatemala, which should be pronounced as “Kee-chay”.
It made me angry to think that the producers of the film would be so careless as to perpetuate the mispronunciation of a name that has been ongoing since the 19th century of a people who are still in existence in great numbers today and with a continued vibrancy of culture and language. It also upsets me to think of the movie’s impact on a U.S. population ignorant of the Maya except for vague references to Hollywood myth. Granted, it was a good film, as far as film and fiction, action and adventure; however, it is a step backward for Guatemalanists such as myself interested in furthering awareness, understanding, and cultural empathy with other Americans.
With all the calendar jokes, all the doomsday references to December 21, 2012, and the planned end of the world parties, the calendar continued. The clock moved the hours and minutes to the next day. The planet is still here–and with its inhabitants.
Folks, you’d be doing yourselves a favor by reading the text by Matthew Restall and Amara Solari, http://www.amazon.com/2012-End-World-Western-Apocalypse/dp/1442206098
And, even better, why not do some actual research about Guatemala, about the Maya? Or, even best, why not meet some Maya and ask them questions yourselves…yes, they do exist. Why not take Dr. J. Maxwell’s 6 week intesive college course for credit in the Oxlajuj Aj program in Kaqchikel Maya. It’s been successfully training U.S. students for more than 25 years at http://www.tulane.edu/~maxwell/oxlajuj.htm
And, yes, there are Maya here in Georgia, in Florida, and many other places in the United States. Help out, volunteer, or join with Dr. A. LeBaron’s Maya Heritage Community Project in Kennesaw at http://www.peacecorps.gov/learn/whyvol/eduben/fellows/commpartners/maya/
Whatever you do, just gain knowledge! And, buy all the Twinkies you can 🙂