As this country carries on 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, promoting wine, eagerly and enthusiastically 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 many ways represents the other side in the immigration debate, not the hostile, fearful, anti-immigrant sentiments stirred up from the shock-book of Thilo Sarrazin, the banker. He along with his family instead represent the emerging Germany that is certainly slowly, painfully transforming into a multicultural society, where spicy snap of Szechuan dishes as well as the subtle, flowery sweetness of a riesling can complement each other.
“Riesling and Chinese food, it really works,” said Mr. Wu, who has become something of a sensation in this particular city for 亚超在线, Hot Spot, that offers a thorough collection of German wines alongside his Szechuan- and Shanghai-inspired menu.
After struggling to create 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 found that his path to financial success within his adopted home was ultimately wine – or really how their own passion for German wine made Germans feel about him.
“He’s somewhat 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 a week ago, 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 as being too generous. In reaction, the central bank asked the president of Germany to remove him through the board, and Mr. Sarrazin on Thursday announced his intention to give up his post by the end from the month.
The publication is selling briskly, however, with many Germans saying that Mr. Sarrazin has a valid point and that people like Mr. Wu – who are prepared to make a few of the sacrifices that other immigrants refuse, or fail, to create – would be the proof. “He named his son Martin; the Turks would never do that,” Monica Diel, whose husband, Armin, is actually a winemaker, said in the Sunday promotion, expressing a sentiment who had heads nodding in approval.
In reality, 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 having a sigh, suggests that he succeeded in Germany, although not without some cost to his family identity.
That is one of the deepest fault lines in the debate here. Many Germans want to preserve the nation’s cultural identity by having immigrants leave their traditions behind. Many immigrants refuse, saying they wish to hold onto their cultural identities.
In reality, the 2 happen to be 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 difficult to integrate,” he said in well-spoken German. “My cultural background is Chinese, which is where I feel in your own home. At the back of my head, Germany remains a reekrc country for me.”
At home, he along with his wife, Huiqin Wang, try to speak mostly Chinese, but switch sometimes to German since their son expresses himself better in German.
“I am attempting to offer 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 do.”
Mr. Wu, 50, arrived at Germany in 1984 from Zhejiang. He frequently laughs, the kind of laugh of the man still amused by their own good fortune. He earned a degree in engineering but left school and opened 德国悠购 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 the restaurant. He never sold one bottle since the expensive wine did not interest customers trying to find chop suey. So he took the wine home, got a new reference guide and drank and studied his way to expertise. In 2003 he met a Chinese businessman who asked him to research German wine accessible in China.