As this country continues its uneasy dialogue about integration, spurred on by an anti-immigrant book published by an executive of the central bank, the restaurant owner Jianhua Wu is busy selling wine, marketing wine, eagerly and happily sampling and sipping wine. Not simply any wine, but German wine.
Mr. Wu, who came here from China a quarter century ago to study engineering, in several ways represents another side of the immigration debate, not the hostile, fearful, anti-immigrant sentiments stirred up by the shock-book of Thilo Sarrazin, the banker. He and his family instead represent the emerging Germany which is slowly, painfully transforming into a multicultural society, where the spicy snap of Szechuan dishes and the subtle, flowery sweetness of any riesling can complement each other.
“Riesling and Chinese food, it really works,” said Mr. Wu, that has become something of any sensation within this city for 亚超在线, Hot Spot, that offers an extensive collection of German wines alongside his Szechuan- and Shanghai-inspired menu.
After struggling to make a life here, doing work in one fast-food Chinese restaurant after another, after years peddling sweet-and-sour recipes loaded with MSG, Mr. Wu said he discovered that his route to financial success within his adopted home was ultimately wine – or really how his own passion for German wine made Germans feel about him.
“He’s a bit of a maniac about German wine,” said Holger Schwarz, the wine merchant who organized the get-together at Hot Spot. “He loves German wine!”
Mr. Sarrazin’s book, “Germany Does Away With Itself,” released last week, attacked Germany’s Muslim immigrants for refusing to integrate, saying these were “dumbing down society.” It vilifies Islam and blames Germany’s welfare state to be too generous. In response, the central bank asked the president of Germany to remove him through the board, and Mr. Sarrazin on Thursday announced his intention to quit his post at the end of the month.
The publication is selling briskly, however, with lots of Germans stating that Mr. Sarrazin features a valid point and this people like Mr. Wu – who are able to make a number of the sacrifices that other immigrants refuse, or fail, to create – would be the proof. “He named his son Martin; the Turks would not accomplish that,” Monica Diel, whose husband, Armin, is really a winemaker, said on the Sunday promotion, expressing a sentiment that had heads nodding in approval.
In reality, Mr. Wu gave his son two names – Martin and a Chinese name, Tao. But it appears that Martin is ascendant, while Tao is fading. This, Mr. Wu says with a sigh, implies that he succeeded in Germany, although not without some cost to his family identity.
That is probably the deepest fault lines in the debate here. Many Germans desire to preserve the nation’s cultural identity with immigrants leave their traditions behind. Many immigrants refuse, saying they would like to hold to their cultural identities.
The truth is, the 2 already are blending, especially in places like Berlin, and also the Hot Spot. Mr. Wu kept his Chinese passport, while his wife and son are becoming naturalized citizens. “I didn’t try tough to integrate,” he said in well-spoken German. “My cultural background is Chinese, which is where I feel in your own home. In the back of my head, Germany continues to be a reekrc country for me.”
In your own home, he and his wife, Huiqin Wang, make an effort to speak mostly Chinese, but switch sometimes to German because their son expresses himself better in German.
“I am trying to give the basics of Chinese culture and philosophy to my son so he could be Chinese,” Mr. Wu said. “But he lives here, he has to speak perfect German. He likes China, but he feels less in your own home there than I really do.”
Mr. Wu, 50, came to Germany in 1984 from Zhejiang. He frequently laughs, the kind of laugh of the man still amused by his own good fortune. He earned a degree in engineering but left school and opened 网上亚超 which he said was such as a thousand other Chinese restaurants.
1 day in 1995, he saw a leaflet about wine. He was interested, so he went out and bought 10 cases, all Bordeaux, thinking he could sell the wines in his restaurant. He never sold one bottle as the expensive wine failed to interest customers searching for chop suey. So he took the wine home, purchased a reference guide and drank and studied his way to expertise. In 2003 he met a Chinese businessman who asked him to research German wine easily obtainable in China.