Daniela Kayßler checks off a point, crosses the subsequent line out, and turns toward the next guest. A lot is happening in the hanseatic office in city hall. Delegates from 119 cities have been travelling to Rostock since Wednesday. 100 delegates arrived on Thursday. It was a stressful day for both workers and volunteers. For each delegate, a gift bag with a beer cap (for a free beer), a map, and the official International Hanseatic Day Journal was prepared. Additionally, each of the guests receives an ID badge
Even cultural groups from the various cities will be given a bag, such as the dance groups and shanty choirs. Kayßer is responsible for registering the delegates. Working together with her colleagues Pia Hauff and Amelie Heidberg, Kayßer informs and answers arising questions from the travelers – mainly in English. “We even had a Polish delegate, who couldn’t speak English,” Hauff says, “but we could still help with hand gestures and miming.”
Volunteers also aid and answer questions. Reiner Petrick is one of these volunteers. For the past two days, he has been filling the gift bags for the around 2000 delegates. With each arrival, he finds the corresponding bag and ID badge for each city, and passes bag and badge onto Kayßer, Hauff, or Heidberg. “We’ve had a lot of commotion today, fewer delegates arrived in the last few days” states Petrick
Foto: Lara Lichtenthäler
One of the delegates is Michel Sabatier from La Rochelle. Lying in western France, this port town is the only French city taking part in the Hanseatic Day. “La Rochelle traded goods with countries along the Baltic Sea during the Hanseatic period. Wine and salt were the main exported goods” Sabatier explains. He’s using the Hanseatic Day mainly to establish contacts and build business network connections. “Each individual city can only grow, if we work together with others.” This will be Sabatier’s second Hanseatic Day. Sabatier will stay in touch with any new contacts over the internet.
The Silke Mählenhoff also wants to take this opportunity to start conversations. She journeyed to the Hanseatic Days from Lübeck with six other delegates. “We would like to represent our city, and establish new contacts,” reveals Mählenhoff. The Fair Trade Markets in Rostock excite her the most. “The concept of Fair Markets began in Lübeck and is being implemented in Rostock for the first time”, explains Mählenhoff.
The baroque hall in the Rostock town hall provides the travelers with their first official opportunity for discussion. The delegates are welcomed by Rostock’s mayor, Roland Methling, and his foreman, Jan Lindenau, “the virtues of the Hanse are the solidarity and the community that we want to keep alive in this day and age”, says Lindenau. The involved countries have been sticking together for decades. The visitors come from many different countries, including Sweden, Iceland, and Estonia.