The Dizi is a bamboo transverse (side-blown) flute. The player blows over the embouchure hole, in a direction perpendicular to the flute's body.
The notes are controlled by a set of holes along the tube. The Dizi flute probably originated in Central Asia or Tibet more than two thousand years ago and was subsequently introduced into China around 160 B.C. It is popular because it is inexpensive and can be used to play different types of music (solo, opera, drama, songs and dances). It is also very portable and therefore easy to carry.
The Dizi is a very simple structure. It has a blow hole, a membrane hole (also called a Mo-Kong), and six finger holes. The membrane on the Mo-Kong is called a Dimo. The Dimo may be a layer of bamboo fiber, rice paper, or garlic skin. The Dimo is applied to the Dizi with saliva, garlic juice, or other sticky liquids. When the Dizi is played, the Dimo vibrates producing a unique pleasant tone.
It takes some practice to get consistent tones (e.g., it is not as easy as a Recorder flute). Honestly, I can only play a few notes at a time.
I usually use my Dizi to reenact the campfire scene from Kill Bill Volume II (a.k.a., The Legend of Pai Mei). This always gets a few laughs.