What Can Bamboo Do in China?

They’ve known that in China for millennia, wher bamboo has been respected for a whole lot of reasons. What can bamboo do? The options are limitless:

可以作为食物——It’s a food.Chinese people have been eating bamboo shoots and other bamboo products more or less forever. Bamboo plays a big part in a lot of Chinese dishes, including the traditional zongzi that are an integral part of the Dragon Boat Festival. 

可以作为器具——It’s a utensil.Chopsticks and other eating utensils are sometimes made out of bamboo. Some dishes are even cooked in cooked in bamboo stalks.

可以入药——It’s a medicine.In TCM, bamboo can be used to treat infections and is also a good all-purpose healer because it’s full of important nutrients.

可以用来做纸——It’s a paper.Strands of bamboo have been used to make a kind of paper in China for centuries, and before paper, strips of bamboo were strung together with thread or wire and used as books.

可以用来做艺术品——It’s art.Traditional Chinese paintings are full of depictions of bamboo. Painting pictures of bamboo is considered an art in and of itself, and it can be an almost meditative process.

可以用来做衣服——It’s a shirt.In 2001, Peking University scientists developed a new process for turning bamboo into clothing that has made it an increasingly popular choice, especially among those looking for organic garments.

可以用来做建筑材料——It’s a building material.Bamboo has been used to build almost everything, from ships and carts to houses and temples. Today, it’s still used in building even if it doesn’t end up in the finished project: often the scaffolding erected by builders as they put up a new building is made wholly or partially of bamboo.

可以用来做武器——It’s a weapon.Bamboo staffs have been a kung fu training weapon nearly as far back as the tradition of kung fu itself.

可以用来做乐器——It’s a musical instrument.Because the trunk is hollow, bamboo can be easily made into pipes, flutes, and other wind-based instruments. And, of course, a thin strand of bamboo could probably make a decent drum stick.

可以用来当装饰品——It’s decor.My boss that summer would never have stood for it, but bamboo is used in many Chinese offices as a decoration as are, of course, paintings and even photographs of it. So what can bamboo do? If you’re in China, it can do pretty much anything!

Key words:
食物shí wù:food
器具qì jù:utensil 
艺术品yì shù pǐn:art 
衣服yī fú:shirt;clothes 
建筑材料jiàn zhù cái liào:building material 
武器wǔ qì:weapon 
乐器yuè qì:musical instrument
装饰品zhuāng shì pǐn:decor

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