Bamboo with pine and plum forms the pattern known as “three friends in chilly weather”. This week we will learn the word竹 zhú – ‘ bamboo ’.


竹 is pronounced zhú.


This character竹 (zhú) was first seen in the oracle bone inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty. Its ancient character resembled a drooping bamboo leaf, and its original meaning was “bamboo”. Bamboo was an important material for making musical instruments in ancient times, so “bamboo” can also refer to musical instruments, and is one of the eight sounds of ancient Chinese musical instruments.


势如破竹(shì rú pò zhú) 

It is an idiom meaning “like a hot knife through butter”. It can describe doing something easily without encountering resistance.

胸有成竹(xiōng yǒu chéng zhú) 

It is an idiom which conveys having plans or designs in mind before starting a task so that success is guaranteed.

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