Bamboo – A few interesting facts!

Do you know – A day is dedicated to bamboos?

Bamboo has been used by man from ancient times. Ancient men used bamboo to make bows and arrows. Bamboo was also used to build homes, roofs and small boats to sail across rivers. To create ‘bamboo awareness’ among common man World Bamboo Organization put forward an idea to dedicate a day for bamboos. Suggestion was put forward in World bamboo conference held at Bangkok in September 2009 and thus September 18 is known as ‘World Bamboo day’.

Bamboos can contribute man in many ways – to conserve nature and environment as normal green trees, source of food and medicine and as a substitute to many daily used things. Flexibility of bamboo is helpful to make crafts as well as furniture and its unique colour shades and polishing are remarkable.

First ‘World Bamboo day’ was celebrated in Nagaland of India. To protect earth, World Bamboo Organization (WBO) asks people to plant a lot of bamboo and strives to create awareness among people about the significance of bamboo and its variety uses. 

Now a few interesting facts about bamboo

1. In bamboo production, variety and consumption, China stands first. Second place goes to India.

2. Bamboo is the official tree of St. Lucia islands.

3. It’s the tallest grass and also the biggest plant of Poyacee plant family.

4. The slowest flowering group among bamboo is Fillostakkis Edulis.

5. In Hiroshima after the nuclear attack, the first plant grown was bamboo.

6. The tallest bamboo in Guinness Books of World Records belongs to Patazhy of Kollam, Kerala.

7. Giant Panda of China, an endangered species eat bamboo only. So, special bamboo forests are grown in many countries like China and Macau for keeping these giant pandas alive, and conserve them.

8. Bamboo is the favourite food of elephants too.

9. Bamboo leaves and tender stems have medicinal value. For digestive problems of cattle, bamboo leaves is the quick remedy.

10. Bamboo seeds are nutritious and can be used as food, mostly used by tribal people.

11. Stem of bamboo is used to fill rice and cook steam cake (puttu) in Kerala in traditional method, a highly nutritious food item.

12. Majority of bamboo blossoms just before they die.

13. Bamboo is of 1500 species, widely grouped into categories – running and clumping. Running group spreads a whole place while bamboo belonging to clumping group cluster around the main plant.

Bamboo – No waste, only use!

Bamboo – the tallest of all grass is famous for its own unique features. It’s a hot property, favourite for both men and animals. Men use it to make homes, furniture and crafts while animals like panda and elephants love to eat its green leaves. It has medicinal value as well as nutrition quotient. Most significant fact is that, like a coconut tree known as ‘Kalpa Vriksha’ all parts of bamboo can be used for one purpose or another. So let us see how bamboo is 100% edible.

1. Tender buds of bamboo are edible and are used as food in many countries including India.

2. Bamboo is best to make temporary sheds, calf sheds etc. As they are light comparing other wood, it’s easy to build bamboo homes and sheds. You can build sheds with good height as well.

3. In addition to flag posts of institutions, churches and temples, bamboo is also used for roofing, furniture, sculptures, art and crafts, decorative elements, musical instruments like flute, toys, ladder etc. Bamboo can also be used as a long stick to pluck fruits and flowers from tall trees.

4. In modern society, lucky bamboo is used for decorative purposes.

5. Bamboo forests is an amazing world and provides hut to a wide variety of living beings including small birds, insects, pea cocks and even snakes!

6. They act as food source of humans, animals and birds.

7. Its seeds are used to make meals as well as snacks. It is highly nutritious too.

8. Bamboo is used for making paper pulp as well as for writing purposes. Before the invention of paper, Chinese used bamboo pleats for writing purposes.

9. Bamboo – either raw or processed can be used as a substitute for wood, plastic, steel, glass and fiber glass.

10. Bamboo is best for roofing, flooring and paneling.

11. Instead of metal strips you can use bamboo sticks for concretes.

12. Bamboo is often processed to sheets, ply wood as well as hard boards.

13. Steam cake maker and similar kitchen instruments can be made from bamboo. In traditional kitchens bamboo is still used to glow flame in a hearth.

14. Bamboo can also be used for making pots, containers, table mats and a lot more!

Bamboo – The royal beauty of your interior

Bamboo is popular as wooden furniture from early days. But its maintenance, fading shades and damages made it less popular, a few years back. But bamboo has solved those problems and again, it’s in market with fresh look. The comfort to sit in bamboo furniture makes it everyone’s favourite. Its flexibility feature makes it ‘comfort to use’. They are attractive too, that suits any type of interior or exterior designs. It can be used to make any type of furniture; it is less-weight too and easy for transport.

A common problem in bamboo chairs is, its knots may loosen or unwrap easily. If so apply a little fevicol SH or any adhesive of white colour to repair those defects. You can also tie them again and apply a rubber band on it. Remove the rubber band knot after three hours. If stainless steel nails are not used properly, it may tear the clothes. Actually these two problems are common in bamboo furniture made a decade back.

If moisture content is not removed completely and if not done polishing well, bamboo furniture may change to black or dark colours. So, while buying bamboo furniture assure that manufactures have used quality methods for furnishing the bamboo. You can apply a coat of polyurethane on bamboo furniture to make it durable. If made so, it can stay up to 50 years; only you need a little maintenance.

While furnishing bamboo, it’s better to peel of outer skin to get extra durability. It brings uniform thickness to your furniture as well. In India, bamboo is most commonly found in Assam and the thin strings known as pencil cane used for tying bamboo are imported from Indonesia. Bamboo is available in 1mm to 3 inch thickness. 2-3 inch thick bamboo is available in Andaman. Bamboo furniture from India is exported to China, Vietnam and Indonesia of which export to China ranks first.

Bamboo can be used to make modern chairs, tables, staircases, bed, wardrobe and even kitchen cabinets. Also bamboo chairs have some health benefits. When we sit on them, a special vibration is evoked that gives a massaging effect to our body. It makes air circulation through our body easy and is a good relief to our joint and muscle problems. So, in scientific terms bamboo is best for ‘body relaxation’.

Image source: Pixabay.

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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