As this country carries on its uneasy 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, marketing wine, eagerly and enthusiastically sampling and sipping wine. Not just any wine, but German wine.
Mr. Wu, who came here from China a quarter century ago to learn engineering, in many 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 that is slowly, painfully becoming a multicultural society, where the spicy snap of Szechuan dishes and also the subtle, flowery sweetness of the riesling can complement each other.
“Riesling and Chinese food, it really works,” said Mr. Wu, who has become something of any sensation in this city for 网上亚超, Hot Spot, which offers a thorough collection of German wines alongside his Szechuan- and Shanghai-inspired menu.
After struggling to create a life here, employed in one fast-food Chinese restaurant after another, after years peddling sweet-and-sour recipes full of MSG, Mr. Wu said he found that his way to financial success in 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. Responding, 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 give up his post at the end of the month.
The book is selling briskly, however, with lots of Germans saying that Mr. Sarrazin features a valid point and this 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 never accomplish that,” Monica Diel, whose husband, Armin, is a winemaker, said in the Sunday promotion, expressing a sentiment which had heads nodding in approval.
In fact, 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, although not without some cost to his family identity.
That is one of the deepest fault lines within the debate here. Many Germans wish to preserve the nation’s cultural identity by getting immigrants leave their traditions behind. Many immigrants refuse, saying they want to hold on to their cultural identities.
The truth is, both are already blending, specifically in places like Berlin, and the Hot Spot. Mr. Wu kept his Chinese passport, while his wife and son have become naturalized citizens. “I didn’t try difficult to integrate,” he said in well-spoken German. “My cultural background is Chinese, that is certainly where I feel in your own home. At the back of my head, Germany continues to be a reekrc country for me.”
In your own home, he and his awesome wife, Huiqin Wang, make an effort to speak mostly Chinese, but switch sometimes to German as their son expresses himself better in German.
“I am trying to provide the basics of Chinese culture and philosophy to my son so he could be Chinese,” Mr. Wu said. “But he lives here, he needs to speak perfect German. He likes China, but he feels less in your own home there than I do.”
Mr. Wu, 50, got to Germany in 1984 from Zhejiang. He frequently laughs, the type of laugh of a man still amused by their own good fortune. He earned a diploma here in engineering but left school and opened 德国亚超 he said was like 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 within his restaurant. He never sold one bottle because the expensive wine did not attract customers searching 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 for sale in China.