Santa Chen —   
Berlin’s most enduring santa is actually Chinese

Santa Chen —  2020
Berlin’s most enduring santa is actually Chinese
Mr. Hu-Ping Chen is 74 years old and has held many occupations before his recent retirement. His most enduring perhaps is that of Santa. Hu-Ping was born and raised in Berlin to a Chinese father and a German-Chinese mother. He doesn’t speak Chinese but has embarked on a search for his Chinese ancestry some years ago. “Very few Chinese came to Europe when my grandfather and father did, and most did not remain in Germany.” Hu-Ping recalls his parents’ refusal when it came to stories of the past “They simply did not speak about their past or their culture and as you can see, I ended up pretty much German.” Hu-Ping’s first santa work began in college or as he says “Half a century ago”. Since then, he’s been a Santa-ambassador, a Santa-mentor, a Santa-historian, and at some point, he was Chairman of Berlin’s official Santa-council.

During the 2020 christmas lockdown, Santa Chen has relied on tech and his filming skills (he used to be a cameraman, too) to spread the joy of Christmas.

All images copyright
of Guannan Li