NewsWelcoming blooms: Ukrainian families reunite with hope and resilience

Welcoming blooms: Ukrainian families reunite with hope and resilience

They returned to Ukraine from Poland. This symbol says it all.
They returned to Ukraine from Poland. This symbol says it all.
Images source: © Getty Images | Global Images Ukraine

5 July 2024 19:12

Oleksandr Tryfonov from Kyiv welcomed his wife and daughter returning from Poland after two years by buying them red roses. Many Ukrainian women and children who escaped the war are now returning home. Flowers, symbolising hope and resilience, accompany them on this difficult but beautiful journey.

Oleksandr Tryfonov arrived at the train station in Kyiv to welcome his wife and daughter returning from Poland. On the way, he bought two red roses – a symbol of love and welcome after a two-year separation. “I haven't seen them in two years. Flowers are important to women,” he said.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, many women and children fled to Poland. Now, as the situation in Ukraine stabilises, some are returning home.

“Flowers have always been associated with Ukrainian culture, but since the invasion, their significance has only grown. They are symbols of both resistance and hope,” says Irina Bielobrova, chair of the Ukrainian Florists Association.

Plants are ubiquitous in Ukraine, forming an important part of everyday life. Even during the war, flowers are present in people's lives. Olga Seminyog, a flower seller in Kyiv, says her busiest day is 8 March – International Women's Day. Business has picked up thanks to men called up to the military, who send flowers home.

Flowers express more than a thousand words. Ukrainians attach great importance to them

Sunflowers, a symbol of Ukrainian opposition and perseverance, have become the national flower of Ukraine. “Emotions are easily expressed with flowers, and together in a bouquet, they tell a whole story,” says Bielobrova.

Dobropark, a garden and recreational area west of Kyiv, was rebuilt after a Russian attack in 2020. “People come here to feel the strength of life and see that it continues despite everything,” says Olha Lykhvar, the park's landscape designer.

Flowers symbolise not only tradition but also hope and healing. In tough times, they remind us of the beauty and resilience that can be found even in the hardest of moments. They fall when cut or picked, yet they bloom again the following spring. Despite everything.

Life can be bright, full, and rich without flowers – Bielobrova emphasises strongly.
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