The day the world didn’t end around Asia

If you missed the end of the world yesterday, don’t worry, it didn’t happen. While December 21 was heralded by some as the potential end of the world, according to how they read the Mayan calendar, it seems most people didn’t really take the predictions too seriously.

Celebrations marking the end of the Mayan age at the Tikal archaeological site, Guatemala. Photo: AFP

However I was asked on Facebook yesterday from people in other time zones if the world had ended in Australia. I told them it had but somehow Facebook had survived. Tourism Australia also posted on Facebook twice: “Yes, we’re alive” and later “No worries mate” followed by this quote:

Pic: Tourism Australia

Here’s some reports about how Asia marked the end of the world.

Business Insider:

“It’s December 21, 2012 In New Zealand And The World Still Exists”

A couple hours ago, Kiwi Vincenza Basile tweeted at his friend Scott Beale:

“12:01am on 12/21/12 & we’re still here in NZ!”

So…phew.

Unless the Mayans were being very specific about their time zone, we can probably relax.”

ABC:

“Almost 1,000 Chinese doomsday cult members arrested”

China has arrested nearly 1,000 people in a crackdown on a Christian sect that spread doomsday rumours and targeted communist rule, state media reports.

The Christian-inspired group Almighty God has been accused of spreading doomsday rumours apparently linked to the ancient Mayan calendar and urging followers to slay the “red dragon” of communism.

The Almighty God sect believes December 21 is the last day in the ancient Mayan calendar and thus signifies the apocalypse.

Read more…

WSJ

“As World Doesn’t End, the Parties Remain the Same”

One thing became clear by Friday morning: The world had not ended.

Australia was one of the first countries to see the sun rise on December 21, and Tourism Australia’s Facebook FB -4.02% page was bombarded with posts asking if anyone had survived Down Under.

“Yes, we’re alive,” the organization responded to fretting users.

Sydney Morning Herald:

“Hysteria, then silence, marked the end of the world”

The Mayan calendar might have ended, but the world certainly has not.

As the clock struck 10.11pm on Friday, December 21, there was no fanfare nor fatal collision with another planet. Instead heavy rain fell over Byron Bay, where close to a thousand people gathered to witness the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world as we know it.

The four day Uplift festival celebrating the event crescendoed in complete silence with a mass group meditation. Only the soft sound of a young boy snoring and the rain drumming on the roof could be heard in the auditorium.

It was a remarkably sedate end to the growing hysteria about the so-called doomsday.

Uplift festival, Byron Bay. Pic: Sydney Morning Herald.

The Nation:

“The morning after doomsday”

If you’re reading this, it should be fairly obvious to you that the world did not end yesterday as many permanently frowning people were hoping.

The Suan Dusit Poll was relieved to report that 92 per cent of the Thais it surveyed had laughed off the “Mayan calendar prediction” anyway. Many pointed out that the silly Mayans didn’t even mention the demon god Rahu devouring the sun.

So, while the rest of the world cowered yesterday, Thais threw themselves on the sacrificial fires of satire, which burned hottest, naturally, on the social media.

Well-known football blogger @fourfourtom offered a “Doomsday Football Chant” that went “Stand up if you’re still alive, stand up if you’re still alive!”

A Harry Potter fan called @_Snape_ tweeted to remind everyone that NASA had confirmed that the sky would become very dark late in the evening on December 21. “This is a phenomenon called ‘Night’,” he explained.

The Thai term for doomsday is wan sin loke, with “sin” pulling double duty as the word for “sarong”, so December 21 was also commemorated as World Sarong Day. Many Facebook users posted photos of themselves wearing sarongs, and the staff at movie studio GTH wore sarongs to work.

Jakarta Post:

“Jakartans take Mayan doomsday lightly”

In other parts of the world, people are rushing to properly equip themselves in readiness for the Mayan Apocalypse prophecy.

But in Jakarta, it is business as usual, with most residents believing the world is not going to end anytime soon.

Eduart, 31, a resident of East Jakarta, said he did not believe Armageddon would take place on Dec. 21, as predicted by the Indian Mayan tribe. “There have been several other predictions of doomsday previously, but none were real. I don’t think this prediction will be true either,” said Eduart, who is a Catholic.

In addition, he said, no one could know exactly when doomsday would arrive.

Read more…

Sg News:

“Some Singaporeans brace for the end of the world”

Even though many Singaporeans may not think the world will end on Friday, some are already preparing themselves just in case.

47-year-old public policy researcher Andrew Teo is one person who thinks it is better to be safe than sorry. The family man has already gathered enough supplies and tools to last him and his family a good six months.

“I have oil, water, canned food, milk powder, rice… my things are shoved everywhere around the house,” Teo said in an interview with Yahoo! Singapore on Tuesday.  Stockpiling essentials are crucial because if a disaster strikes, be it man-made or natural, there will be no stores or law and order to get necessities from, he adds.

And if he ever needs to leave the house, he has a pick-up truck that he plans to convert to be electricity independent.

Read more…

Andrew Teo's family. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Teo)

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