As this country carries on its uneasy dialogue about integration, spurred on by an anti-immigrant book written by a professional of the central bank, the restaurant owner Jianhua Wu is busy selling wine, marketing wine, eagerly and graciously sampling and sipping wine. Not just any wine, but German wine.
Mr. Wu, who came here from China a quarter century ago to study engineering, in lots of ways represents one other side from 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 that is certainly slowly, painfully transforming into a multicultural society, where the spicy snap of Szechuan dishes and the subtle, flowery sweetness of a riesling can complement one another.
“Riesling and Chinese food, it really works,” said Mr. Wu, who has become something of the sensation within this city for 网上亚超, Hot Spot, that offers a comprehensive variety of German wines alongside his Szechuan- and Shanghai-inspired menu.
After struggling to produce a life here, employed in one fast-food Chinese restaurant after another, after many years peddling sweet-and-sour recipes packed with MSG, Mr. Wu said he discovered that his path to financial success within 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 the other day, 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 reaction, the central bank asked the president of Germany to get rid of him through the board, and Mr. Sarrazin on Thursday announced his intention to stop his post in the end in the month.
The ebook is selling briskly, however, with many Germans saying that Mr. Sarrazin features a valid point which people like Mr. Wu – who are prepared to make a number of the sacrifices that other immigrants refuse, or fail, to help make – are definitely the proof. “He named his son Martin; the Turks would not do that,” Monica Diel, whose husband, Armin, is really a winemaker, said in the Sunday promotion, expressing a sentiment that had heads nodding in approval.
In fact, Mr. Wu gave his son two names – Martin as well as a Chinese name, Tao. But it appears that Martin is ascendant, while Tao is fading. This, Mr. Wu says using a sigh, suggests that he succeeded in Germany, but not without some cost to his family identity.
That is one of the deepest fault lines within the debate here. Many Germans desire to preserve the nation’s cultural identity by getting immigrants leave their traditions behind. Many immigrants refuse, saying they want to hold onto their cultural identities.
In reality, the two are already blending, especially 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 hard to integrate,” he said in well-spoken German. “My cultural background is Chinese, that is where I feel in your own home. At the back of my head, Germany remains a reekrc country for me personally.”
In the home, he and his awesome 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 offer the basics of Chinese culture and philosophy to my son so he can be Chinese,” Mr. Wu said. “But he lives here, he needs to speak perfect German. He likes China, but he feels less at home there than I really do.”
Mr. Wu, 50, got to Germany in 1984 from Zhejiang. He frequently laughs, the kind of laugh of a man still amused by their own good fortune. He earned a degree in engineering but left school and opened 亚超在线 he said was just like 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 within his restaurant. He never sold one bottle since the expensive wine failed to interest customers looking for chop suey. So he took the wine home, got a new reference guide and drank and studied his approach to expertise. In 2003 he met a Chinese businessman who asked him to research German wine accessible in China.