In Asian culture
Bamboo's long life makes it a Chinese symbol of longevity, while in India it is a symbol of friendship.
In Chinese culture, the bamboo, plum blossom, orchid, and chrysanthemum are collectively referred to as the Four Gentlemen. These four plants also represent the four seasons and, in Confucian ideology, four aspects of the junzi ("princely" or "noble one").
Bamboo- noble and useful
- Bamboo, one of the “four gentlemen”, plays such an important role in traditional Chinese culture that it is even regarded as a behaviour model of the gentleman. As bamboo has some features such as uprightness, tenacity and hollow heart, people endow bamboo with integrity, elegance and plainness, though it is not physically strong. Ancient Chinese poets wrote countless poems to praise bamboo, but actually they were expressing their understanding of what a real gentleman should be like. An ancient poet, thought that to be a gentleman, one does not need to be physically strong, but must be mentally strong, upright, and perseverant. Just as a bamboo is hollow-hearted, he should open his heart to accept anything of benefit and never have arrogance or prejudice.
- In ancient times, as long as people had money to buy a big house with a yard, they would always plant bamboo in their garden. Bamboo is a necessary element of Chinese culture, or even in the whole of Asian civilization. People plant bamboo, eat bamboo shoots, paint bamboo, write poems for bamboo, and speak highly of gentlemen who are like bamboo. Bamboo is not only a plant, but also a part of people’s lives.
- In Japan, a bamboo forest sometimes surrounds a Shinto shrine as part of a sacred barrier against evil. Many Buddhist temples also have bamboo groves.
- In the northern Indian state of Assam, the fermented bamboo paste known as khorisa is used locally as a folk remedy for the treatment of impotence, infertility, and menstrual pains.
- Bamboo plays an important part of the culture of Vietnam. It symbolizes the Vietnamese hometown and Vietnamese soul: the gentlemanlike, straightforwardness, hard working, optimism, unity and adaptability. A Vietnamese proverb says, "When the bamboo is old, the bamboo sprouts appear", the meaning being Vietnam will never be annihilated; if the previous generation dies, the children take their place. Therefore, the Vietnam nation and Vietnamese values will be maintained and developed eternally. Traditional Vietnamese villages are surrounded by thick bamboo hedges.