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Kandi kid
Kandi kid

A Kandi Kid (commonly called a "Candy Raver", "Candee Child" or "Kandi Raver") is a rave attendee who exchanges or shares small gifts, primarily beads, necklaces, toys, bracelets, or stickers.

The defining part of a Kandi Kid's appearance is their wearing of many homemade bracelets made of plastic beads, known as Kandi. The bracelets are often given as gifts to remember past raves and commemorate new friendships. Kandi Kids are also known (and sometimes identified) by their brightly coloured style. They are often found wearing bright clothing depicting "trippy" designs, as well as cartoon characters, hair extensions or hair falls, fake dreadlocks, childish attire, chew toys laced on string around their necks, fuzzy leg warmers, visor hats, hair clips, and much bright makeup.

Kandi Kids often find one or more things to wear that make them appear different from other Kandi Kids and people in general. This individuality allows for easy recognition. It often is a particular style or color of hair, a particular hat, shirt, pair of pants, gloves, headphones, belt, or other accessory.

Candy ravers can primarily trace their style of fashion to the late 1980s culture and the "Summer of Love" in the United Kingdom. Fashion in clubs at the time were primarily day-glo colored attire, smiley face clothing (fashion also attributed to Acid House and the corresponding movement), and whistles.

Many spelling variants occur throughout the rave scene when referring to this subculture, although the actual origins of the term are unknown. Use of the term on Usenet alt.rave shows earliest reference to the spelling "candee", with alternates "kandy", "kandi", or "candi" following later.

Several of the Hyperreal mailing lists have posts predating the use on usenet such as this one by Vladimir Katz dated October 21, 1994:

* "Everyone felt free to be themselves, do what they want, be free with no fear of being looked down on. People came in costumes, people gave out candy, people introduced themselves to random others!!"

Although it is also possible he was just talking about regular eating candy due to the spelling of the word, it is also possible he was referring to the common practice of Kandi Kids giving out edible candy such as hard candy, lollipops, gum, and suckers to fellow ravers and Kandi Kids alike. This practice has two reasons, however. One is for the mere purpose of enjoying the candy, and the second is to lessen the teeth grinding that occurs due to ecstasy use.

Kandi is generally made of plastic pony beads, occasionally with various other beads made of metal, wood, or glass. Hearts, stars, pom-poms, Alphabeads, glow-in-the-dark beads, butterflies, and smiley faces are popular choices when making Kandi and are generally made with elastic string to stretch. Candy ravers will sometimes hold parties just for the sake of making Kandi, generally as gifts for friends.

Kandi has four main functions:

The first is the visual aspect that kandi creates. They are usually very bright day-glo colors chosen especially for the purpose of the visual effects created when someone dances wearing them while being illuminated by different types and colors of light. The sequence of colors chosen will sometimes appear jumbled and somewhat random but the beads are typically chosen to contrast with other beads making them visually jump out. Some beads will also be UV reactive and/or glow in the dark. Because of the vast amounts of Kandi that are worn, typically not all pieces will fit onto the raver's arm. Sometimes a shoelace or string is used to hold all the Kandi. This shoelace or string will generally be tied to a raver's waist or backpack.

The second is the tactile aspect which is the way the kandi feels on the arm. With the kandi usually being tight in nature, the person wearing them can constantly feel the bracelets on their arms enhancing the touch sensitive part of Ecstacy intoxication. Sometimes another person will rub their hands on the wearers Kandi producing a pleasing feeling for both. Particular things of different textures are also used occasionally in the making of Kandi; for example, smooth, soft, plushy, velveteen, satin-like, etc.

In most cases, beyond its aesthetic worth, there is a memory or sentiment that can be tied to each Kandi. Kandi can be a link to a memory of a friend, place, action, party, or feeling. There is also the fact that at some points when someone mentions a particular Kandi the wearer has the chance to share the story behind it to the other person.

The fourth aspect of Kandi is a gift that a raver will give or swap with new friends, and new ravers they have just met. This action expands the raver's social network and allows them to know more people. In the rave culture of certain areas, this exchange can be done in two main ways.

Happy Hardcore or eurodance is more or less every kandi kids favorite music genre, although they may listen to most other forms of techno as well. Kandi Kids often wear childish/cute backpacks (o hold all their kandi); Less neon than most ravers- more cute; Cargo pants; anything with kids cartoon characters; usually with furry/cutsie details, and make-up is usually colorful, cute, and glittery. Kandi kids are always friendly, high on life, outgoing, and usually hyper. Kandi kids take P.L.U.R (Peace, love, unity, respect; sometimes with an extra R for resposibility.) as the words they live by.

Info -save from the last paragraph, which is mine- from wikipedia, image from deviantart.

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