You are on page 1of 18


From CHINESE perspective

Meaning of Harmony Origin of Harmony in China Lessons from Harmony In Social context In Political context In Economic context How China rediscovered Harmony


Meaning of Harmony
The concept of harmony in Chinese culture comes from music. Harmony relates to important concepts of Confucianism such as Ren (Benevolence, Humanness) Yi (Righteousness, Justice) Li (Propriety, Conduct, Etiquette) Zhi (Knowledge) Xin (Integrity) The duality of yin and yang

Resolution of Conflicts between Human and Nature Human & Human Members of a Group Citizens to a society at Large Rulers & the ruled Clashes amongst the religions Ideological contests Dependence & Independence development between national blocks

Origin of Harmony in China

During the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, discussion of music flourished under Confucius and the school of thoughts he created, Confucianism Factors leading to Harmony - Predominantly agricultural society - Teachings of Confucius and other scholars - Willingness of Society to accept new idea Famous saying from Warring State Period (479 BC to 221 BC) Bai Hua Chi Fan Bai Jia Chi ming Meaning: Let hundred Flowers Bloom Let hundred Schools Flourish

Lessons from Harmony

Social Context Harmony in Chinese Culture
Opening poem of Shijing Crying the Ospreys Merrily the ospreys cry On the islet in the stream Graceful gentle and bright is she A fit mate for gentleman for him Long and short is the water plant Left and right borne by the current Graceful gentle and bright Longing for her, Awaken or in his dream Waiting for her reply Long he thought, long night awaken Long and short is the water plant Left and right to pluck them Graceful gentle and bright Wed her is his dream Merrily paying tune with her Long and short is the water plant Left and right to gather them Graceful gentle and bright Marry her is his dream Drums and bells beating

5 Confucian Relationships
Father to Son Elder Brother to Younger Brother Husband to Wife Elder to Junior Ruler to Subject

One of his famous sayings from Confucius goes: In carrying our rites, it is harmony that is prized. (, L zh yng, h wi gu. )

Personal network (gunx) - In China, an established network of quality contacts can help accomplish almost anything, and thus having good guanxi is a very powerful asset.
Human sentiment (rnqng ) - The rule of renqing in Chinese society as fellows: If you have received a drop of beneficence from other people, you should return to them a fountain of beneficence. A Chinese who has done a favor for you automatically feels that he or she is owned a favor from you in return. Face (minzi) - Face is the concept of Mianzi . In Chinese culture, losing face, saving face and giving face is very important. Surface harmony is the art of maintaining composure and remaining polite and courteous. Surface harmony is seen to be of higher value than personal emotion and thus proper etiquette will serve to safeguard harmony and face.

Humility and modesty (kqi) - Ke means guest and qi means behavior. Keqi is the concept of humility and modesty that is illustrated through being considerate, polite and well mannered. Chinese people do not consider it polite to be arrogant and boast about ones achievement and connections. Reciprocity (l shng wngli) - This concept can be defined as individuals and groups exchanging favors. People will ask for favors from those with whom they have guanxi. Collective vs. individual interest - Another deep-seated social belief is that of the collective interest being of greater importance than that of the individual. As a result, individuals should sacrifice their own interests in order to serve the needs of the majority.

An individualist mentality and a collectivist mentality.

Example One-If you show a Westerner an image of a fish tank, the American will usually describe the biggest fish in the tank and what it is doing. If you ask a Chinese person to describe a fish tank, the Chinese will usually describe the context in which the fish swim. Take Away - Westerns usually see individuals; Chinese and other Asians see contexts. Example Two - Show Westerns individual pictures of a chicken, a cow and hay and asked the subjects to pick out the two that go together, the Westerners would usually pick out the chicken and the cow. They're both animals. Most Asian people, on the other hand, would pick out the cow and the hay, since cows depend on hay. Take Away - Westerners are more likely to see categories. Asians are more likely to see relationships.

Message from China through Sports The ceremony drew from China's long history, but surely the most striking features were the images of thousands of Chinese moving as one drumming as one, dancing as one, sprinting on precise formations without ever stumbling or colliding. We've seen displays of mass conformity before, but this was collectivism of the present a high-tech vision of the harmonious society performed in the context of China's miraculous growth.

An old Chinese Proverb

If there be righteousness in the heart,there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character,there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home,there will be order in each nation. When there is order in each nation,there will be PEACE IN THE WORLD!

Political Context
Principles governing Chinas practice of harmony-oriented diplomacy

Being both outward-looking and inward-looking, seeking mutual adjustment and mutual adaptation with the world Seeking a multi-faceted win-win outcome. Putting aside ideological differences and focusing on substantive cooperation in foreign relations. Establishing secure communities without the intention of sphere of influence, power politics, or dominance

Economic / Technological Context Open Door Policy The principle of Equality and Mutual Benefit Focus on Green Technological advancements

How China rediscovered Harmony


Harmonious Society (hexie Shehui)

Harmonious World (hexie Shiji)