As this country carries on its unsure dialogue about integration, spurred on by an anti-immigrant book published by a professional of the central bank, the restaurant owner Jianhua Wu is busy selling wine, promoting wine, eagerly and happily sampling and sipping wine. Not only any wine, but German wine.
Mr. Wu, who came here from China a quarter century ago to study engineering, in lots of 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 awesome family instead represent the emerging Germany which is slowly, painfully being a multicultural society, in which the spicy snap of Szechuan dishes and the subtle, flowery sweetness of a riesling can complement each other.
“Riesling and Chinese food, it really works,” said Mr. Wu, who may have become something of the sensation in this particular city for 德国亚超, Hot Spot, that offers a comprehensive variety of German wines alongside his Szechuan- and Shanghai-inspired menu.
After struggling to produce a life here, working in one fast-food Chinese restaurant after another, after many years peddling sweet-and-sour recipes packed with MSG, Mr. Wu said he learned that his path to financial success in his adopted home was ultimately wine – or really how their own love of 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 people were “dumbing down society.” It vilifies Islam and blames Germany’s welfare state to be too generous. In reaction, the central bank asked the president of Germany to get rid of him from your board, and Mr. Sarrazin on Thursday announced his intention to give up his post in the end of the month.
The ebook is selling briskly, however, with many Germans stating that Mr. Sarrazin features a valid point which people like Mr. Wu – who are willing to make some of the sacrifices that other immigrants refuse, or fail, to make – are the proof. “He named his son Martin; the Turks would never do this,” Monica Diel, whose husband, Armin, is really a winemaker, said at the Sunday promotion, expressing a sentiment which had heads nodding in approval.
Actually, Mr. Wu gave his son two names – Martin along with a Chinese name, Tao. But it seems that Martin is ascendant, while Tao is fading. This, Mr. Wu says with a sigh, shows that he succeeded in Germany, however, not without some cost to his family identity.
That is among the deepest fault lines inside 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 onto their cultural identities.
In fact, both are already blending, particularly in places like Berlin, and the Hot Spot. Mr. Wu kept his Chinese passport, while his wife and son have grown to be naturalized citizens. “I didn’t try tough to integrate,” he explained in well-spoken German. “My cultural background is Chinese, that is where I feel at home. At the back of my head, Germany continues to be a reekrc country for me personally.”
In your own home, he along with 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 seeking to provide the basics of Chinese culture and philosophy to my son so he is able to be Chinese,” Mr. Wu said. “But he lives here, he has to speak perfect German. He likes China, but he feels less in the home there than I really do.”
Mr. Wu, 50, got to Germany in 1984 from Zhejiang. He frequently laughs, the type of laugh of the man still amused by his very own good fortune. He earned a degree in engineering but left school and opened 德国亚超 that he said was such as a thousand other Chinese restaurants.
Some 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 did not attract customers searching for chop suey. So he took the wine home, bought a reference guide and drank and studied his approach to expertise. In 2003 he met a Chinese businessman who asked him to check out German wine accessible in China.