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RITUALS AND THE LACK OF HARMONY


In order to pursue the question wether rituals have an effect on harmony, one should first define the goal, the harmony itself.


By harmony one understands a balance which exists between different parts. These parts can consist of people, or they could represent nature or feelings. So it is possible to create a harmony between humans and nature.


On the other hand, a ritual is an action whose sequence is predetermined and usually has a symbolic meaning. In addition, rituals are usually deeply rooted in the respective culture.

In Japan, people attach importance to the ritual of going to the Shinto Shrine. In Germany, for example, it is a ritual to give children a school-cone on the first day of school. In parts of Indonesia, people are deeply connected to Hinduism. So it is important for these people to pray together, to make music or to dance together.


It can be said that the result of all these rituals is in a certain way harmony. But in what type of forms this harmony appears can be very different. Most rituals in the Japanese or Indonesian culture probably rather lead to a communal harmony and the rituals in Germany as well, but also to a harmony in the respective individual. Even so - as a consequence, harmony in the community is not unlikely, since, as we know, one must first love oneself before one is capable of loving others.


Rituals also involve an investment of time. In Germany, there is almost no more involvement with old rituals, in Japan a little more, and in Indonesia it takes up large parts of life. In this hierarchy, one can also classify the harmony of the people among themselves.


Taking the example of Indonesian culture, it can be seen as a logical conclusion that the investment of many hours a week, for rituals, strengthens the community and on the other hand, the gradual disappearance of the culture in Germany leads to a weakened communal harmony. Of course, it is generally the case that the Western culture is less designed for community, in contrast to Asian cultures.


In times when culture gets lost, people still need some stability. Then they look for this support in other groups. For example, in organizations against climate change, in extremist groups or in completely different forms. A natural consequence of this is that the flight into other groupings triggers dissharmony, since these groupings often oppose each other in their opinions and goals.


So, to focus again on a stable coexistence, the culture, rituals and traditions could certainly be a way to strengthen the community and to create more harmony within individuals as well as in society.

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