Красота требует жертв

My friend V typically speaks about her crazy Ukrainian family and their escapades whenever we’re outside of class. Growing up as a first generation Ukrainian-American is a little wild (as a first generation anything for that matter!).

I asked if she had a proverb that really influenced her, and she told me this: “Красота требует жертв”. Phonetically it’s pronounced “Krasota trebuet zhertv”. V said that the literal translation is “Beauty requires sacrifice” with the actual translation being “Without pain/sacrifice, you will not achieve beauty.”

V said that she had learned it from her Ukrainian mom when growing up, and says that it has two meanings for her. The first being that the proverb reminds her of how different and sexist the environment was where her mother was raised. Her other interpretation is that one must go through hard and unpleasant circumstances to achieve good things and have good things happen to them. It’s also a value of hard work for her, as she gave me the example of drawing thousands of dots for a pointillism painting. It’s tedious and one can easily get carpal tunnel, but the ends, to V, justify the struggling means.