The Astonishing Effects of a Symbiosis of Far-Eastern and German Virtues
Every culture has its very own, very special virtues. These virtues are the fundament of a society, define a society, its success or failure, form its character. A nation’s virtues determine its fundamental behaviour, not only in the public sector like e.g. in the general way of working, but especially also in the private sector.
Based upon the virtues we were given we pursue a certain lifestyle, care about ourselves, about our health, about our general well being. This also refers to our view on nutrition and the attitude we develop towards physical activity.
How does life in Far East work?
During my four weeks journey through China I learned to know that nation’s discipline on all above-mentioned sectors in a way that an “ordinary” package vacationer never would. Early morning at Xi Hu (West Lake) everyone – young and old – was exercising in some way. Healthy food has a very high priority as well as discipline and diligence at work. At the same time I was able to observe an extremely social behaviour towards children and old people and also the being together, the cosy friendliness and fun did not miss out.
In these behaviors we recognize many of the German virtues to which so much importance is attached abroad. Politeness, diligence, stability, but also cosiness are qualities people tend to award the Germans and which are enjoying a high estimation everywhere in the world.
In Sri Lanka there is the DASA PARAMITA, the ten virtues every Buddhist should follow in order to reach a higher level in life, if not the highest level of enlightenment.
These then virtues are charity, moral, sacrifice, wisdom, endurance, patience, honesty, determination, kindness and equanimity. Man obtains these properties through a long, difficult path of virtues. He will find many obstacles on this path, but in the end he will be rewarded with “emancipation”.
In Far-Eastern countries yoga and similar physical practices (Tai’Chi, The 7 Tibetans, Qigong and others) as well as meditation are part of daily life. They enrich our day, enhance our balance and our happiness. Mind and body are not separated but viewed as an entity, which form a person. Ayurveda works like that very successfully since more than 5000 years. On this basis, on viewing and living the body in harmony with the universe, with nature’s flow, keeps a human being, his character and the whole universe in balance.
How does the symbiosis of virtues develop?
For us „Westerners“ these morals are fascinating. We are attracted by the spirituality, the mystic, since they present something that for example in Germany has been lost completely. We travel to the Far East to live for a while within this atmosphere, to maybe learn Far-Eastern practices and meditation, to enjoy the healthy food adequate for our body, to undergo Ayurvedic and similar natural treatments. In the end we take home something and integrate it into our daily life.
Just like the books on the topic “Ayurveda at home”, which are being sold at the Lanka Princess, transmit. The integration of Ayurvedic lifestyle and principles of life into our daily life.
At the same time though a German vacationer appreciates the fact of finding some positive qualities from his home country even when traveling far. We enjoy the punctuality of our treatments and other programs, diligent and kind staff at the hotel and above all we treasure the German standard of hygiene. It is not easy to mediate this to the staff in the Asian countries since in their world it is just not the most important thing.
It is that combination of virtues from two different cultures that fascinates us, makes us happy and satisfies our desire for a different, foreign way of living without forcing us to deny our own character and what makes our lifestyle comfortable and perfect.
Coming together also on the medical sector
Coming back to Ayurveda (ayus = life, veda = science): with concern to the medical sector in particular, a combination of our Western medicine and herbal medicine based on a system, which has been transmitted over millennia and can only be prescribed by educated Ayurveda doctors, often proves very successful. The guest arrives with his German remedies; these are being examined by the local doctor and can eventually be combined with the herbal remedies (Rasayana), which are being prescribed to the patient based upon his constitution analysis.
This is not possible in every case, sometimes the Western medicine will be stopped and the patient will be treated exclusively with Far Eastern remedies. Often though the herbal medicine will work hand in hand with the Western remedy as for example in the case of strong medicine for the heart or the thyroid – to just mention two examples. Slowly, the symptom treating medicine brought from the home country will be reduced and once again a wonderful symbiosis of West and East has been created.
You will find his combination in an ingenious form at the Lanka Princess. Since inception of this hotel there has been a strong focus on the training of the staff according to German standard. The hotel also fulfils the highest level of cleanliness and hygiene, as it cannot be found easily in the Asian countries. A German management, the atmosphere a combination of German architecture and the beauty of the country itself, the decoration, the yoga, the smiling, relaxed faces and much more in the hands of the Ceylonese – a guarantor for a complete feeling of Wellbeing.
Katharina E. Weyland