SoFtBuNnY's World

Hugs & Kisses

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Favorite Past Time - I Love to Kiap my Bolster!!!

My tag line is "I Love To Kiap Bolster!". For those who don't know what "Kiap" and "Bolster" is, I will try my best to explain it in this posting. "Kiap" means sandwiched or hugged and "Bolster" is equivalent to a long round shaped pillow.

According to the "Wikipedia",

"A bolster (etymology: Middle English, derived from Old English, and before that the Germanic word bulgstraz) is a long narrow pillow or cushion filled with cotton, down, or fibre. In western countries, it is usually placed at the head of bed and functions as head or back support. In southeast Asian countries, in particular Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, the bolster is designed to be hugged when sleeping. It is called a dakimakura in Japanese. In Chinese, its hanyu pinyin is "bao zhen" (lit. "hugging pillow").

Tradition suggests that a wife would fashion the bolster out of bamboo and give it to her husband when he travelled away from home so that he would not be lonely at night, hence the name "bamboo wife," or "Dutch wife," or chikufujin in Japanese.

In many Chinese and Malay families, children are provided with a bolster and the habit of sleeping with a bolster carries over into adulthood. It is said that hugging a bolster will calm one's mind when sleeping, and, in the hot tropical climate of Singapore and Malaysia, it is often too hot to cover oneself with a blanket when sleeping, especially in a non-air-conditioned room, hence hugging a bolster to sleep would reduce risks of catching a cold in the middle of the night.

In the past, it was common for people to make their own bolsters. Old folks usually made the inner cover with a slit at its centre and stuff cotton wool until it is fairly compact and then sewing the slit up. A bolster cover is then made, with tie strings at its end, to keep it clean. Because of its popularity, bedsheet sets often come with pillow and bolster cases.

In more traditional Chinese families, a newly-wed couple's wedding chamber will have a bed that comes with two pillows and one bolster. The bolster is to provide the husband with something to hug when the wife is not in the mood or vice versa.

The use of the bolster is so common among Indonesian people that most local hotels provide bolsters for their guests. However, this is less common in westernized hotels in bigger cities in Indonesia."

I have always been hugging a bolster when I sleep ever since I was a baby. The Bolster serves as my comfort pillow. It has my own special scent on it. I need to hug one to sleep every night. When I studied in Perth back in the late 90s, there were no bolsters there. Desperation drove me to improvise by bringing my bolster cases to Perth and getting 2 soft pillows and stuffing them in my bolster case. It worked and I had 1.5 years of comfort hugging. When I go traveling, I always get the hotel to give me an extra pillow so that I can kiap in between my legs for peaceful sleep. I wonder what will happen if I do get married...will I kiap my future husband like a bolster??

Anyway, here are some pictures that I would like to share with you as I googled the internet for images of the bolster.

The Bolster!

People of all ages hugging the bolster

Even baby pandas are given a bolster to hug for comfort

Hope you all have gained an insight to the wonderful world of bolster kiap-ing. Cheers!

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