(Interesting Differences/Shared Humanity) Grass is for…

I love grass, not the ‘medicinal’ herb, but the stuff that is grown in parks and back gardens all around the world.  Picnics in the park with a mat on top of the grass, rolling down grassy slopes as a child, the sweet smell of newly mown grass, the fresh beauty of it after rain.  Grass is nice stuff.

One of the fascinating differences I noticed between China and Australia is that grass is off limits in China. It is very rare to see people sitting and picnicking on the grass in parks, even more rare to see groups or families playing the local equivalents of backyard cricket, football etc. There are parks – some really lovely ones – and people enjoy visiting them. But they also abound in ‘Do not walk on the grass” signs.  Seats are provided, but the flower gardens are fenced off, and the grass is forbidden.

I asked my students why this occurred and after some surprise that people would think about sitting on the grass, and much discussion, the only answer they could come up with was that “Grass is weaker in China”!

Perhaps this is slowly changing as I have seen young couples sitting on the grass in secluded places.  I hope it changes more quickly and the joy of sitting on the grass on a lovely day, having a picnic, playing a game or two becomes ordinary.

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