I don’t love kandi because of how it looks. I don’t love kandi because it adds to my outfit. I also don’t love kandi because of its complexity in designs. Now, why DO I love kandi?
I love kandi because it created bonds with people I never knew I would be friends with.
Within my group of friends, it’s hard to get to know one another individually because there are 70 people in the group. Within this group of extremely charismatic characters, I more than proud to say that they are like a second family to me. Whenever we all go to an event together I feel as if I can talk to anyone of them that’s dancing next to me and feel the love just because we’re in the same group. Because of those moments, I’m able to create kandi specifically for them in the next event I know I’ll be seeing them at. During EDC last year a couple that I befriended from the group gave me a kandi that refers to an inside joke, a two-piece kandi with the words ‘body shots’. To receive a kandi that was specifically made for me meant so much to me that after that trade, I became inspired to make kandi specifically for people so that they would feel the same way I did: the overwhelming amount of joy knowing that my friends took the time and energy to create simple but meaningful pieces of kandi just for me!
I love kandi because it brought my boyfriend and I closer together.
When we first started dating he had no idea what rave culture was like, so I taught him the ropes: what to wear, PLUR, and kandi making. His first show that I convinced him to go to was Above and Beyond’s Halloween show in 2013 at the Bill Graham in San Francisco and I wanted to make that night special for him. I brainstormed for days on what kandi to make for him as his first PLUR; I couldn’t afford to make his first kandi something he wouldn’t like. One day, I realized that although the design of kandi may be important, it shouldn’t be why we make it. It should be made so that you could tell love was put into it. I settled for a simple sun single, making myself the moon as his other half. Hopefully if you guys ever run into him, he’ll say that’s his favorite kandi out of the rest he has now. After that, we spent weekends together having kandi parties with just the two of us surrounded by boxes and tubs of beads, trying to figure out what we should make next and for who. Kandi is extremely important to me and I’m truly happy that I’ve found someone that feels the same way.
I love kandi because it brings a smile to a stranger’s face when I give them a gift that they didn’t ask for.
The simple act of PLUR with another person that you had no connection to is a beautiful moment that shows what pure happiness really is. I love seeing the expression on somebody’s face when I give him or her a cuff I specifically made for the event, it’s so priceless to see their eyes light up and jaws drop to the piece I made. During this year’s Halloween event (Jack Yo Lantern in San Jose), my boyfriend saw a girl who was wearing the same exact Wonder Woman corset I wore and pointed her out to me. Usually girls are thinking, ‘Oh, she’s wearing the same costume as me’ and try to move away from one another, but I was so excited to have another person with the same corset that I ran up to her and told her I wanted to give her something. I PLUR’d to her the Wonder Woman cuff I had made for that outfit, something I intentionally wanted to give out, but waiting for the right person to come around. She told me she didn’t have anything to give to me, but seeing her excitement was a gift in itself.
Finally, I love kandi because I can give kandi in the spirit of giving.
I’ve met so many other kandi kids that make pieces simply to give out to people and it’s amazing to hear their stories behind each piece that they make. From best friends PLURing one another to strangers feeling the good vibes from one another, it doesn’t have to be specific reasons to just give kandi to others. I love giving others kandi (especially new ravers) because I want them to know that raves isn’t about just the music, but also the culture. I would love for everyone to take in what they learn at raves and apply it into the real world; trading kandi and not receiving anything in return could be the same as doing paying extra bridge toll for the person behind you, with no chance of ever meeting them.
Giving is better than receiving, that’s why I make kandi. I love to give kandi to others because it puts a smile to their face. I love having that feeling that I made at least one person happy that day; it’s not everyday that someone does something nice for you. I can’t tell you all how many times I’ve received a kandi from someone, didn’t have anything to give back, and they were okay with that. Those moments to me felt like true PLUR, pure happiness and wanting to share it with others.
So sometimes it isn’t about trading kandi, but mostly giving kandi. Let’s remember to share the love with someone you don’t normally talk to or even someone just standing next to you at your next event. Make next year the year you change someone’s perspective on raves by giving them a kandi that they’ll love forever.
Make it your new years resolution to make others feel special with the kandi that you make! Share the love, keep it PLUR, and rave on <3