Heidi Trautmann

Heidi Trautmann Column 57 - Let's talk about culture and ....the Truth

When I was writing the review for Özge Ertanin’s art exhibition in last issue of Cyprus Observer with the title ‘Art is my way to the truth’ I asked myself: What is the truth?

Generally speaking, truth is on the one hand side the quality of faithfulness, fidelity, loyality, sincerity, veracity and on the other the agreement with fact or reality. But when we say, she was looking for the truth, then it becomes more pointed, it becomes something more personal, looking for the reason of life, the absolute, the core of things, the atom…

How do we go about the truth in our daily life? How often do we use white lies to perhaps not hurt somebody or just to avoid unnecessary discussion.  We are getting so used to it that we don’t even have the slightest bad conscience, although I know exactly when somebody is lying to me. What do you call that? Diplomacy.  Ahhh, I have given up to tell lies a long time ago because it makes one so unfree and you have to have a terabyte memory. The other day a friend was telling me via mobile that he was walking in a street of Nicosia when I heard his landline ringing. How embarrassing!

Trivial offences have for many become the order of the day such as in tax declarations or expenses claims….. or taking money for a favour….. and one gets so easily used to it until one day out of the blue you are caught and all of a sudden it is a criminal offence.

To be true to one’s country, that is a special heart ache to many Cypriots, for those living in many other countries around the globe; they say that there are more Cypriots living in London than in Cyprus; Cypriots from both sides of the divided island; on many occasions I have met here Cypriots living in Australia, Canada, America or elsewhere, some of them are lucky to have a holiday villa here or family, but often they just have an aching heart. Many of them are asking themselves for their true identity….who am I?

To be true to one’s partner is quite another thing, I have heard from an expert, a gynecologist in Cyprus, who told me: Heidi, you won’t believe me how many men and women betray their partners, how many are married for family’s sake and have not had the chance to make their own choice. Society is a big lie, he said. Ach, my friend, I said, betraying a partner has become a sport in many partnerships all over the world. Why is that so? If two persons living together respect each other fully there is no need for anything else but the truth. However,  as soon as one half of a partnership thinks himself better than the other then he/she automatically invites him/herself trouble…. that is valid for any partnership or coexistence, for example the two halves of our island with respect to basic matters of life.


To tell the truth to children, the easiest way out is still ‘you are too small to understand’ however in my opinion it is better to treat the children as small adults and if we choose the right words and take our time to explain they would understand….anyway today children learn from Auntie Internet and Doctor Google the facts of life….often distorted….and worse  than we would have done with our own loving words.

The truth is an apple, on the one side green and on the other side red, it depends where your standpoint is, but it remains an apple. You want to know the truth about people or countries and their politics you read the newspapers and listen to the news and shake your head about the wickedness in the world; but is it the truth we are hearing or reading? Is it not blown up and distorted? Do we individuals try to find out? You know, there are world news agencies and they feed the media and all newspapers pick up what they are fed. That is common practice.

You believe in something to be true, you trust the facts that are delivered to you, the data on the food you eat – for ages children were forced to eat spinach for its high contents of iron but it was proven that the researcher had placed the comma wrongly… to believe means to trust, but not to know the truth.


To get to know who I am while I was growing up with all the influences thrown at me, education, advice by the elder in all questions of life, was a desperate undertaking - at least I remember that I often was desperate to find myself under all the covering. Today the young people have the same problem but instead of experimenting to find out what suits them they copy each other, wear the same hair style, the same fashion, you are safe in the thick of the crowd, do what the others are doing.

Who are we? Do we need an identity card to tell us? Konfuzius says that all the seed is in a human being when it is born and it depends on the gardener to cultivate and help the strong seed to grow to full height…. the job of parents and teachers if they are well trained, although the main job should be to teach children to use the tools to do the caring themselves.

Jaaaah, here we are again at the beginning, we have to do the job ourselves in the end, we cannot defend ourselves, excuse our not so well succeeded genes with the fault of our parents, our teachers, our government, we have to blame ourselves.  It is true, art in the wide sense is one of the tools, or literature, music, dance, sculpting, caricature or even photography, or a fine tongue and passion to reach a mastership in cooking, or being a good carpenter. Whatever we do it must be truthful to our innermost, to the true core we have one day discovered. Can you imagine what our world could be like?


Time saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy
Time saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy

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