Chi­nese fans swamp home­land restaurants in Brazil

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Across latin america -

It is said that the strong­est and deep­est bond be­tween a per­son and his home­town is the food from their child­hood. This the­ory has once again proved to be true as Chi­nese restaurants in Brazil cheered for an in­crease in cus­tomers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“There are so many more Chi­nese tourists who come to my restau­rant lately. My em­ploy­ees are much busier than be­fore,” said Chen Piti, the owner of a Chi­nese restau­rant named China Town in Rio de Janeiro.

Chen’s restau­rant is not lo­cated near the tra­di­tional tourist zones such as the fa­mous beaches in Rio de Janeiro, but is in the north­ern part of the city. Though it may take more than 10 min­utes to drive there from the beaches, many Chi­nese much more now.”

China Town is one of the largest Chi­nese restaurants in Rio de Janeiro with a his­tory of 22 years. Chen said the restau­rant has been ac­cepted by lo­cal people as 80 per­cent of its reg­u­lar cus­tomers are Brazil­ians.

“There are many dif­fer­ent eat­ing habits be­tween Chi­nese and Brazil­ian cus­tomers. Chi­nese cus­tomers tend to or­der much more than they can eat be­cause they are so ex­cited to see their tra­di­tional food in this coun­try so they want to have it all,” Chen said.

“I some­times have to sug­gest to them that they or­der less, but I to­tally un­der­stand their feel­ings.”

Chen’s restau­rant is not the only one ben­e­fit­ting from the ex­tra tourists; other Chi­nese restaurants in Rio de Janeiro are also en­joy­ing higher sales. . A Chi­nese restau­rant near Copaca­bana beach for ex­am­ple, has been sell­ing sig­nif­i­cantly more seafood dishes in the past two weeks.

About 8,000 Chi­nese foot­ball fans have trav­eled to Brazil to en­joy the World Cup. Liu Hao, man­ager of the Ama­zon Travel Agency in Brazil, said there has been a sharp in­crease in Chi­nese tourists be­cause of the foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion.

“The num­ber is sev­eral times larger and they are all foot­ball fans,” said Liu. “The first meal I ar­range is al­ways a Brazil­ian bar­be­cue which is the most fa­mous and typ­i­cal of our lo­cal cui­sine. But they will al­ways ask to have Chi­nese food later. Maybe that’s what we call home­sick.” Con­tact the writer at fanzhang@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

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