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Rave Kandi Exposed: The Vibrant World of Beaded EDM Culture

What is Rave Kandi?

Rave Kandi, an iconic symbol in the rave and North American Electronic Dance Music (EDM) community, and is much more than just decorative jewelry. It embodies the vibrant spirit of ravers, reflecting a unique cultural ethos centred around the acronym PLUR - Peace, Love, Unity, Respect. In this blog post, we delve into the world of Rave Kandi, exploring its origins, cultural significance, and the creativity it fosters within the rave community.


History and Origins

The exact history and origins of kandi is debatable but most can agree this trend started in the early 90's. Some say kandi in the rave scene was started by people who were distributing drugs at these events so they could be identified and ravers could score some drugs. Others will say kandi bracelets originated from friendship bracelets that were incredibly popular in the 90's.


Either way, they have always been colorful bead creations, ranging from bracelets and necklaces to anklets. They are typically handcrafted using plastic pony beads, plastic charms and beads with letters to spell out words or sayings.


Cultural Significance & PLUR Philosophy

At the heart of Rave Kandi is the PLUR philosophy. Each letter stands for a fundamental principle: Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. This philosophy is not only embraced in the creation and trading of Kandi but also forms the cornerstone of interactions within the rave community.


Kandi is more than an accessory; it's a cultural item that signifies the essence of the rave community. It's a tangible representation of the PLUR philosophy, fostering a sense of belonging and shared values among ravers.


Each piece of Kandi collected holds stories and memories, making it a cherished part of a raver's journey.


Types of Rave Kandi

1. Bracelets

The most classic and widespread type of Kandi, are single or multi-strand beaded bracelets. Easy to make and trade, they often feature unique patterns, names, or phrases that hold special significance. They're the perfect starting point for anyone new to Kandi culture.

2. Cuffs

Cuffs are like the deluxe version of Kandi bracelets. They're thicker, often featuring intricate designs and multiple layers of beads. Creating a cuff can be a time-consuming process, but the result is a stunning piece of wearable art that's sure to catch eyes and start conversations.

3. Necklaces

Kandi necklaces range from simple, single-strand creations to elaborate pieces featuring pendants or 3D structures. They're a fantastic way to make a statement and often serve as a centrepiece to a raver's outfit.


Perlers -made from melting small plastic beads together for form designs - are often attached to necklaces to be used as pendants. These perler beads are perfect for creating logos, characters or intricate patterns.



The PLUR Handshake

Trading Kandi is a ritual steeped in the PLUR philosophy. The PLUR handshake, a series of hand gestures culminating in the exchange of Kandi, is a significant tradition that reinforces the values of peace, love, unity, and respect.


Trading Etiquette

There's an etiquette to trading Kandi, involving certain dos and don'ts that help maintain the spirit of the exchange. This section guides you through the proper way to trade Kandi, ensuring a respectful and meaningful interaction.

The true essence of Kandi - a symbol of friendship, joy, and community spirit.


Dos:

  1. Ask Politely: Always ask before trading. It's about mutual respect and consent.

  2. Make Your Own Kandi: It's a personal touch that shows effort and creativity.

  3. Use the PLUR Handshake: When trading, use the special handshake – peace (palm to palm), love (hands form a heart), unity (link fingers), and respect (exchange Kandi while hands are still linked).

  4. Be Genuine: Trade with genuine intentions, not just for the sake of getting more Kandi.

  5. Share a Moment: Take a second to share a smile, a hug, or a positive message. It's about the connection, not just the bracelet.

Don'ts:

  1. Don't Demand to Trade: Trading is about mutual desire to share, not an obligation.

  2. Don't Trade Away Kandi That Has Sentimental Value: If a piece means a lot to you, it's okay to keep it.

  3. Don't Judge: Don't judge others based on the Kandi they have or don't have. It's about the spirit, not the material.

  4. Don't Disrespect the Meaning: Remember, each Kandi is a representation of a moment or a memory. Honor the culture and the connection it symbolizes.


How to Make Rave Kandi

The process of making Kandi is pretty simple. With a few basic materials like pony beads, elastic string, and scissors, anyone can create their own Kandi, infusing it with personal meaning and style. If you need some inspiration then Pinterest is a great source.



In conclusion, Rave Kandi is a vibrant and meaningful element of rave culture, symbolizing the PLUR philosophy and the unbreakable bonds within the community. Its legacy continues to flourish, spreading joy and unity at raves and festivals all around North America.

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