Body-language and nonverbal communication

What is harmony?








What is harmony vs. cohesion?

China is famous and well-known for the basic value “harmony”. In former times and today. Harmony characterizes philosophy, culture, society and politics. It seems that life is harmony, or it should be like this.

The concept of harmony in Chinese culture comes from music. Confucianism played a key part in the formulation of the earliest form of Chinese music, Qin. Qin music illustrates the concept of harmony through its techniques such as the level of pressure and the speed of tempo, which symbolize Yin and Yang and the different temperature in the four seasons. (If you want to read more look here ………Music, under Confucian concepts, has the power to transform people to become more civilized and the goal of music is to create balance within individuals, nature and society. Leading people “back to the correct direction in life” not only…… signifies the guiding role of music, but also emphasizes on the power of the rulers, “The correct ‘mood’ was set by the chief of state, the emperor, the son of Heaven.”[6] The power of the rulers reflects a fundamental theme in Chinese civilization. The State, or the ruling government, has the special role of taking care of the people; however, what distinguishes the Chinese ruling government from other ruling governments is the respectful attitude of the citizens, who regard the government as part of their family. In fact, the ruling government is “the head of the family, the patriarch.”[7]

In contrast to this we in Europe follow not so much this value than the value of cohesion (more info via (

Social cohesion is a multi-dimensional concept and various definitions can be found in the literature. They include:

  • Social cohesion is a process of building shared values and communities of interpretation, reducing disparities in wealth and income, and generally enabling people to have a sense that they are engaged in a common enterprise, facing shared challenges, and that they are members of the same community.[1]
  • A cohesive community is one where:
  1. there is a common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities;
  2. the diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and positively valued;
  3. those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities; and
  4. strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and within neighbourhoods.[3]
  • Social cohesion may be defined as the dialectical relationship between instituted social inclusion and exclusion mechanisms and responses, perceptions and attitudes of citizens toward the way these mechanisms operate.[5]

One big difference we see between “harmony” and “cohesion” is the following:

It seems to me that harmony is some kind of a state, a mood, a habit in society or among people andsoon. Whereas cohesion always is a process of being engaged with one another in order to work on the state of cohesion. Cohesion never is a firm state of living.

Harmony seems to be a complete and concluded state of being. Whereas cohesion is an open process, which has to stay open, that means in progress.

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