The Story behind the Mayan-Tibetan Bicultural Encounter

Experience Mayan Culture at Mayan-Tibetan Bicultural Encounter

The Story behind the Mayan-Tibetan Bicultural Encounter

Wed, 2012-08-08

Experience the vibrant Mayan culture first hand combined with the peace and beauty of Tibetan spiritual practices in a one-of-a-kind event held in Mexico’s stunning Riviera Maya. Hacienda Tres Rios resort is hosting its Mayan Tibetan Bicultural Encounter for the second year in a row. This memorable week is filled with spiritual ceremonies, entrancing traditional dances and eye-catching artwork from two fascinating cultures from opposite sides of the globe.

From September 11 – 16, 2012, guests staying at the Hacienda Tres Rios resort will have the chance to participate in an extensive list of activities highlighting Mayan and Tibetan cultures in the paradise-like setting of Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Event attractions include conferences by archaeology and astronomy experts, beautiful dances combining Mexican and Tibetan traditions, a cleansing ceremony at a cenote set in the resort’s lush jungles, a fire ceremony, ancient Mayan Temazcal rituals, Tibetan blessings known as “pujas” and breathtaking sand mandalas created by skilled Tibetan monks. In addition, Cancun Theater in the exciting Cancun Hotel Zone will be hosting a special presentation featuring Mayan and Tibetan dance rituals on the evening of September 13, 2012, a show you won’t want to miss!

Monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will fuse their traditions with the local Mayan population for an absolutely unforgettable event at the Second Mayan-Tibetan Bicultural Encounter 2012.

Mexico Today recently had the opportunity to interview Bruny Schoener, one of the creators of this vivid cultural event, to get her view on how the encounter began and its positive effects on both the Tibetan and Mayan cultures.

What was the inspiration for combining the Mayan and Tibetan cultures?The idea to create an event combining spiritual practices and cultures came from Daniel Arroyo, joint Vice President of sales and marketing at Hacienda Tres Rios. Seeing the beautiful Hacienda grow from its roots was inspiration enough for the Arroyo family to create such a marvelous encounter, where nature merges with the culture of native Mayans and the great spiritual strength of the Tibetans.When living in the Yucatan Peninsula, you get to experience the magnificent and peaceful energy of the area, so the thought of bringing together the traditions, spiritual practices and beliefs of these two great cultures came naturally. Combining the heights of Tibet with the turquoise ocean of Quintana Roo, and the cold snows of the Himalayas with the warmth of the tropics allowed us to create a unique event that highlights the best of both.

How can guests staying at Hacienda Tres Rios resort participate in this event?All guests staying at Hacienda Tres Rios can participate in all of the activities free of charge. The only fee would be for transportation to the dance performance at Cancun Theater on September 13, 2012.

What is the biggest difference you have seen between the Mayan and Tibetan ceremonies?While the Tibetans were able to rescue their tablets with written history, the Mayans were unable hold onto their tangible history after the Spanish conquest destroyed the vast majority of their belongings. Ever since, cultural traditions and wisdoms are passed down by different methods in each culture: Tibetans learn their history from past generations through their tablets, while Mayans pass down their history through legends, word and dance. As a result, ceremonies performed by Tibetan monks all have a similar feel no matter which monastery they belong to, while Mayan shamans each add their own personal style to their ceremonies. That being said, there are also several surprising similarities. For instance, both the Tibetan and Mayan cultures have ceremonies where they chant or sing to the four cardinal points, tying the four corners together.

How do experiences like this bicultural encounter affect the Riviera Maya’s local population?The Riviera Maya is a place that has a tremendous amount of cultural wealth, filled with traces of archaeology and history. However, the vast majority of tourists visiting the Cancun and Riviera Maya area are searching for beautiful beaches, fun and relaxation. It is an honor for Hacienda Tres Rios to support the Mayan culture through an event that will generate more awareness of Mexico's culture for our guests and visitors.

What makes Hacienda Tres Rios such a great setting for the encounter?Hacienda Tres Rios is a resort property that has prioritized a respect for nature throughout its history. Therefore, it is an honor and a pleasure to host an event where the Mayan and Tibetan cultures, both of which teach a love for nature and living things, can blend together in a colorful and harmonious natural setting.

For more information on being a part of the Second Mayan-Tibetan Bicultural Encounter 2012, please check out the event’s main page.