Owner of a Chinese restaurant in Italy: Fear not, we are Chinese, not clichés



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Owner of a Chinese restaurant in Italy: Fear not, we are Chinese, not clichés



CHINESE restaurants in Italy are half empty due to the unjustified fear of guests being infected with a coronavirus, Italian media reported.

Le Zhang, manager of Bon Wei restaurant in Milan, told Italian culinary portal Identita Golose: “It's not easy in this period. We still have a good weekend, the restaurant is full. But during the week it is a disaster. I have a hard time experiencing it.”



His restaurant has never had less than 50-60 guests, and since this psychosis broke out, as he calls fear of coronaviruses, that number has halved. “When we draw the line, we lose 50 percent of our customers. The media scares people, and few do it honestly,” said Le Zhang, pointing to the positive example of journalist Enrico Mentana, who often comes to him and on Instagram is a sign of solidarity posted a photo of the menu from Bon Wei Restaurant.

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Le Zhang thinks the fear of visiting a Chinese restaurant is caused by ignorance and sometimes racism. “How can people behave like this in 2020,” he wonders angrily about the situation. “We should have respect. We are Chinese, we are not slaughterers,” he noted.

This 36-year-old came from China at the age of five. His father visited half of Europe working as a chef: first a year and a half in Amsterdam, then three years in Paris, and afterwards he came to Milan. The family opened their restaurant in Padua in 2010, where Le Zhang practiced football until he was injured.

When they opened the restaurant in Padua, they noticed that there were still some who were afraid to enter the Chinese restaurant, remembering the SARS epidemic, which was suppressed seven years before. He attributed this to Padua being a somewhat provincial city, while Milan considered it a place where people were more open. “I didn't expect that kind of reaction, I have to say I'm a little disappointed,” he said.

When it gets on the subway, many people get up and get off in another wagon

His fiancé Shuye Wu is 23 years old and was born and raised in Italy. He speaks the Milanese dialect, but when he gets on the subway, many people get up and go in another wagon, Le Zhang said, adding that the same thing is happening to many of his associates.

He was advised to hang a large sign to emphasize that virtually all the ingredients he uses are from Italy and are certified. He didn't, though, for two reasons. “First, the coronavirus is certainly not transmitted by food. Second, because it is humiliating to me. In my heart, I always hope people will understand,” he says. Now with his family he tells people, “Don't be scared of the Chinese!”

Owner of a Chinese restaurant in Italy: Fear not, we are Chinese, not clichés

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