Lifestyle & Culture

The Meaning Behind Kandi Culture

Kandi isn’t just a trend in raving, it’s a part of the culture. It’s a way to make memories with the friends you made for the night, or even the friends that will last a lifetime. Whether it may be a simple single or an intricate 3D cuff, kandi can hold much more meaning than you would think.

Fellow ravers share their favorite kandi and the meaning behind that important piece:

Name: Eric
From: Los Angeles 

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 My friend gave this cuff to me closing out Nocturnal 2011 during Kaskade’s set. It was the first cuff he had made and we had just met a month before the event and all his friends bailed on him at the last minute. I, of course, never leave a man behind and told him to meet up with my friends and I each day to party with us! I could tell it meant a lot to him that I was there for him when his friends weren’t. And now we are very close even though we yell and scream at each other all in good fun!

Name: Orlando
From: San Francisco

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This Domo-kun cuff was made for me by my old co-worker from Best Buy. It means the world to me because she made this for me when she heard I was going to Beyond Bay Area even though we hadn’t seen each other in years! Not only did she remember that Domo-kun is my favorite character, she also signed it with our inside joke “Twinzie” (we were somehow mistaken for one another). It to me just shows how much love there is in the EDM scene, and of course how awesome a person my twinzie is!

Name: Ryan
From: Alberta, Canada

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This is my first plur package plus the first cuff I ever made. Kandi is special to me as it allows me to be my own person in a world that is so judgmental, as well as meeting new people that become family. I have met so many friends now because of my kandi and I love how my collection has grown over the years.

Name: Neil
From: Fremont, CA

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Being a kandi kid has always been a great way for me to meet new people at festivals. Seeing the creativity behind people’s creation is so inspiring and makes it so easy to strike up a conversation and make new friends. Kandi has impacted my life by helping me create new bonds with others and allows us to express who we are. 

Name: Caleb
From: Los Angeles, CA

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My boyfriend wanted to go to HARD summer this year, convinced me to go and the rest is history! I was so happy when I got this kandi because it was something so foreign to me but it showed me how loving the rave community is! Now I make my own kandi though I don’t trade often, I normally just give them to people because I know how happy I was to receive that first kandi so I want to make other people have that same feeling!

Name: Nicole
From: Sylmar, CA

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Personally, I’ve met a lot of people through setting up trades. I love learning about people beyond just what they’re studying in school or learning what their favorite characters are and why they love them. When I set up trades, I get to learn all a that and more with kandi. You get to see their style and the love you’ve received through a piece of kandi. Being a kandi kid, I love being able to give people their first cuff at an event. It’s an extremely rewarding feeling to see the look on their faces. 

In general, kandi impacts my life by reminding me to put aside some time just for myself. We spend so much time working and studying for classes, a lot of us don’t dedicate some time to relax. Kandi helps a lot of people I know set aside some time to just let your creativity flow!

Name: Joelene
From: Las Vegas, NV

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These are just SOME of my favorite pieces of kandi I’ve made/I’ve received. My current most favored piece is my Totoro mask that I received from @naturecreature_ in a plur package 🙂 It’s my favorite piece because for the longest time I’ve wanted a kandi mask, not just because they’re rad (okay mostly because of that), but also because when I would practice on an orbit I’d hit myself in the face continuously. It’s hard to not hit yourself a few times while playing with it! Hitting yourself in the face with an orbit hurts so the mask definitely provides some protection.

Kandi, in general, has impacted my life for the better. I feel so damn good knowing that giving away my creations will definitely help someone feel better that day. Telling people about the meaning of PLUR & sharing my experiences with them – that’s pure bliss to me. To be honest, I don’t think I could ever go back to my old life – the one without kandi. It’s too addicting and kandi makes me feel wonderful. That’s a feeling I don’t want to give up if I don’t have to. :3

Kandi is nice to wear to show off your kandi making skills, but what really makes kandi truly special is when someone brings meaning to it. <3

If you would like to share your own kandi stories, e-mail stephanieqmb@gmail.com

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