In my years of living in South East Asian cities, I never heard of any child voluntarily playing on the grass. The children would all exclaim loudly that grass is “Dirty!” when asked why they don’t.
One year I was teaching a class of 16yr olds in “O” Level English in an exam preparation class. (Very popular in Singapore, one boy travelled 2 hours each way to be in my class) I could see that the stress levels were rising and that the last thing they needed was even more homework. So, I cancelled the homework, to a room full of wide grins, and instead set the homework as being to go out and just sit on a patch of grass, close their eyes and relax for 5 minutes. Then they had to do a somersault or a cartwheel on the grass. Easy, right?
The next class rolled around and I asked for a show of hands to see who had done the homework. Nothing! No-one had done it. Then one shy girl sheepishly raised her hand. I immediately congratulated her and asked how it had felt. “Wonderful!” she replied, in a near whisper, then broke into the hugest grin. She started telling her classmates all about how it had felt and soon they were all promising to try it for themselves. I never heard if they did or not, as that was the last lesson.
My neighbours in Singapore thought I was a bit crazy too, as I would often kick off my shoes and walk barefoot across the small patch of lawn below our apartment building. After all day in shoes on a hard surface, the grass was so therapeutic to walk on. It really is the simple things in life that are so enjoyable…….