My Godmother’s Pillow And Fan

Credit : Chinatown Heritage Centre

The porcelain type of pillow on the right, hollow with 2 oval holes on both sides, was the type of pillow my Godmother used when we were staying at Beatty Road. It’s rather small in size compared to those new pillows we used nowadays.

I’ve tried sleeping on it but it’s hard to sleep on it and it’s cold too. When I tried to turn to my side, my head fell off the pillow. I don’t understand how my godmother managed to sleep on it so many years.

The one on the left is also a pillow but of better quality. Maybe it’s more expensive than the porcelain one, so not many could afford it. But even now, pillow price can range from a few dollars to hundred over dollars…and you won’t know how it suit you until you buy it and used it.

In the foreground of the above photo, you can also see the type of fan my godmother used. That is the normal types of fans made of probably bamboo leaves (correct me if I’m wrong) that most household will have. But now, how many of us still have it??

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5 Responses to “My Godmother’s Pillow And Fan”


  1. 1 Victor Koo Thursday, January 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    When I was a kid, my neighbour who was a 70-year-old lady used to sleep on a porcelain pillow too. But hers looked slimmer and more squarish than the one in your photo. Moreover, there were quite a number of intricate holes in it which acted as some kind of design, if I remember correctly.

    I think the fan was made from the leave of a palm and not from bamboo leaves which is blade-like.

  2. 2 laokokok Friday, January 25, 2008 at 7:06 am

    HI Victor,
    Thanks for the correction. Not too sure what leaves are that but sometimes it does ‘poke’ into the hands as some of those are torn. Those new ones that they are selling now, don’t seem too good.

  3. 3 daddyto3 Friday, January 25, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Was that her “mattress” too? 🙂

  4. 4 Lam Chun See Friday, January 25, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    My grandma used to have the one on the left. I remember it was black in colour. I think if you got used to it, you wouldn’t like our modern soft cushion type, which tends to trap a lot of heat. I think I might like it if given a try.

  5. 5 laokokok Monday, January 28, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Hi Daddyto3,
    Definitely not the mattress haha. It’s not so comfortable sleeping on that kind of mattress.

    Hi Chun See,
    But I think such pillows are too small in size for my head.


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