Canal cruising in Raddusch: A day with Matthias

Time flies – today the crew hit the road for the third and last filming day in Brandenburg, ready to spend a day with the second German main character of our documentary.

Matthias, 24 years old, was born and raised in Raddusch, a small village in Southeastern Brandenburg. He studies engineering in Cottbus and has a very peculiar student job: every year from May to October he takes tourists around the canals of the region (Brandenburg is known for its traditional irrigations system, consisting of more than 200 canals) on his Kahn, a traditional long wooden boat.

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                                                                            Matthias preparing his Kahn right before the tour           

“This job is a wonderful opportunity for me: I spend my working days outside, into the nature, I meet and talk to new people everyday, everybody is always happy on a boat tour…it’s the most amazing job in the world!” he told us.

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“There are more than 1000 boats like this one that travel through the Spreewald canals every day, and I am one of the youngest riders. But it is actually not strange for a person my age in Raddusch: that is usually what young people from the village do when they don’t go to Cottbus or to Berlin. Young men drive Kahns, girls take part in folk associations, where they wear traditional dresses and keep the local costumes alive.”

“What I like about life in a rural area is the peace and the quiet, and the fact that there is more room. I have a garden, lots of room to grill…also, people actually know their neighbours here, everybody hangs out together, the relationships are stronger. There are many advantages to this, for example when my bike has a flat tire I don’t need to travel a long way to get it repaired, there is always someone close by to lend a hand. But of course this way of life has also many drawbacks…like the fact that rumors spread very quickly around here!”

“What I hope for the future of Brandenburg is that the tourism sector will keep growing. At the same time, the region should be able to offer alternatives to the tourism and coal industries, so that young people can have more opportunities to find a job here without moving to bigger cities like Potsdam, Dresden or Berlin.”

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