Proverb – Hồng Nào Mà Chẳng Có Gai

Literal Translation: Which rose has no thorns
English Equivalent: Every rose has its thorns

The rose is a symbol with a rich and ancient history across cultures and religions. Few people realize that the rose possesses many paradoxical meanings. It is both a symbol for purity and passion, virginity and fertility, life and death. In literature, roses often symbolize love and beauty and represent women. In this proverb, the rose is used as a metaphor for human nature. As beautiful and alluring as it is, the rose is not without flaws ­– its sharp thorns can pierce the skin. Similarly, regardless of how seemingly flawless and captivating a woman may be, she has her own limitations and problems. Another interpretation for the proverb is that in order to enjoy pleasant experiences, you must also endure difficulties or pain. Even the best situations have their downsides and vice versa.

More recently, the proverb has been amended with humorous twists such as, “Hồng nào mà chẳng có gai, gái nào mà gái chẳng hay ghen chồng” (What rose has no thorns? What woman is a woman without jealousy?) or “Hồng nào hồng chẳng có gai, trai nào trai chẳng có hai người tình” (What rose has no thorns? What man is a man without two lovers?).

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