Getting to Know Europeians- The Venerable Kuramia
An overview of Kuramia's career so far, some advice, and some future outlooks.
Written by Forilian
In an effort to let everyday Europeians know more about their fellow citizens, Getting to Know Europeians is an interview project that asks Europeians casual questions about themselves. This is the second issue of this project, and you can expect more of these in the coming days and weeks!
Kuramia, our current councillor of foreign affairs, has been in Europeia since 2015. Kuramia first started playing NationStates in 2012, with a nation named Vheraun. They started out doing some fantasy and low-tech roleplay, then joined Balder and attempted to get involved in Balderian politics. However, they weren't quite satisfied there, and soon took a couple years' hiatus from NationStates.
After this hiatus, they came back to NationStates in 2015 with their current nation, Kuramia. They received a recruitment telegram from Europeia, which impressed them, and joined Europeia soon after. They started their career in the Citizens’ Assembly], and became deputy chair under the then-chairman, Calvin Coolidge. During this time, Kuramia explored the region, asked a lot of questions, and worked on getting out that term's Mockingbird issue for the Citizens’ Assembly. Furthermore, they joined the Ministry of Communications as an editor and writer, and soon found themselves heading the ministry.
During their time as minister of communications, Kuramia gained valuable skills and experience that come with this job. They learned their database technique, which they used to keep track of staff in the ministry, as well as the projects they were working on. Kuramia also learned that institutional memory is important, as well as the fact that "polls suck." At the time, they thought that their first term went well. "I was getting out articles, producing content, my people were happy, and the region seemed happy with my performance." However, a poll soon came out, and Kuramia suddenly found out about other parts of their job. "I didn't know until a poll came out that I was missing stuff, namely Radio and Dispatches. I had no idea about them. There was no handing off of knowledge. There were no documents in plain sight I could see as minister." Despite all of this, Kuramia was appointed to another term as minister of communications, and by then she was ready. "My second term, I incorporated [radio and dispatches] into the ministry, but by that time it was a matter of spite. The assumption was that I didn't know how to do all three, so I set out to prove Hyangyo (a critic of Kuramia's first term) wrong and was happy the next time for his praise."
Kuramia stayed in Europeia and didn’t leave for any substantial period of time. In early 2019, they decided to run for president of Europeia. Despite their years of experience at this point, Kuramia felt that “[they] didn’t think [they] were ready”,and mainly decided to run because “[they] saw [their] name in so many polls.” Up to this point, they had spent years in various ministries, slowly working up the ladder. They also decided to run partly because “[they] had the time and energy, the most important part, and [they] had some ideas.”
Another reason why Kuramia decided to run was that they liked to be a force of stability during a time of change. At the time, the region was going through the executive split, and Kuramia believed that they could not only handle the Presidency, but also work with the first minister post-split on foreign affairs. Fortunately for Kuramia, there were many strong leaders in the region, and they became part of the president's Cabinet upon Kuramia's uncontested election to the Presidency in February of 2019.
During their term as president, Kuramia learned quite a few things. "I did learn how to handle drama at my own pace. I learned that I did not need to immediately respond to things. I learned that my advisors were there to help, but I didn't need to always speak with their voice. I could, in fact, use my own voice and that sometimes that's the best option. I also learned that there is a quality people either learn or do not learn in handling politics. When push comes to shove, those people either react well...or don't, and then you sometimes have to decide to support them or not, and that decision comes with consequences."
Kuramia reflected on their term as president, then chief of state, as "overall it felt good." The power that came with the position was hard to deny, and although the president has their own advisors, the themselves still ultimately decide, which meant that all the praise, and blame, often landed squarely on the president's shoulders. This is one part of their Presidency that Kuramia remembers fondly. "I liked being praised because who doesn't? I remember how good it felt to lead my team to a successful term, even with the shake-ups we had. I did feel that despite drama that happened, I kept my head above water."
After the Executive Split, "true drama [happened]." Being president was comparably easier to Kuramia. Whenever they made mistakes, Kuramia could just chastise themselves and move on. However, as chief of state, there is also one other person who both have to worry for each other. Although Kuramia said that they worked fine with their counterpart, then-First Minister Rand, “[they] might argue that they didn’t always work well with each other.”
Looking towards the future, the executive branch will soon be merged again. When asked about whether they'll run for president in the near future, Kuramia gave the following response:
"I know a lot of people had requested I take up the mantle of First Minister. It just hasn't interested me as much. I love foreign affairs. I want to talk to people outside of Europeia. I want to bend our internal affairs to work that helps us inside and outside the region.
Honestly, in the end, I know Europeia. For the most part, I know how it works. I've been President and Chief of State, and President was the most thrilling because it combined everything. I think back to what Common-Sense Politics said about having that one coveted role that shines like a golden trophy with big names under it. I agree with that assessment. I don't think CoS or FM is as shiny as President.
I'd love to get back into the competition of it with the ability to tout my FA strengths, solid cabinet picks, and desire to have one person working on Europeia's internal and external image in the same breath, with only one person responsible for it. If you can make it with all that on your head, you've done something amazing."
Some advice Kuramia gave to newcomers included that there were two main paths a newcomer takes. Kuramia themselves started small and slow, but they understand that this was not a universal approach to getting to know the region. According to them, there are people who need to start slow, learn the culture in the region and adapt to it, and some people who can smoothly leap to the top. "Figure out what kind of path you need. This game is great at teaching you a lot about yourself if you let it. If you don't, you're going to come upon roadblocks in your advancement."
Another experience that Kuramia recommends newcomers to try is to run for elections; however, they advise that only those who can take critique go through this process. Kuramia themselves wasn't a part of this group, so they had to understand as much as they can before they started to run for elections, which Kuramia thinks has served them well in the long run, which they said was something everyone should think about.
"If your interest in this game can be likened to a fire, are you going to be a roaring inferno or banked coals? One lasts longer than the other, so decide what you want to do and go for it. I always recommend the slower path, but my goals were for the long term. Decide how you want to play the game, become a mentee to people playing in your style, and have fun above all."
Finally, Kuramia offered a word of advice to Europeians: “Take time for you and communicate when you need that time. Anyone that pushes back against you needing time, no explanation required, is a [bad person].”