PLUR Handshake

“The first time I went to a rave was in 2010 for New Years Eve. It was pretty insane and an unforgettable experience. People were dressed n neon colors, wearing very little, almost nothing. I remember thinking how crazy these kids must be, not only because they were practically naked but because they were almost naked in 40 degree weather! As I wasgetting used to this “rave scene”, I noticed a lot of the people had beaded bracelets, some from their wrist to the top of their arms. Everyone was really nice and talkative. When I mentioned to one of the girls I met that it was my first time at a rave, she automatically got super gitty. I’m pretty sure she was on something because she just seemed way too happy. But anyways, she grabbed my hand, connecting her pointer finger and middle finger to my pointer finger and middle finger, like the peace sign saying PEACE, then LOVE , curving each hand and connecting to each other to make a full heart, then we put our palms together like a still high five, UNITY, finally interlacing fingers while she slid one of her plastic beaded bracelets from her wrist to mine., RESPECT. The bracelet was colorful, bright pink and blue with lettered beads spelling PLUR, which stood for each of the steps of the swapping. I felt so initiated into this crazy world. She went on to explain how her and her friends, Kandi Kids, get together to make tons of these bracelets before a rave, wear them and swap Kandi with other Kandi Kids. “

PLUR is somewhat of a value system in the rave subculture. It promotes peace, love, unity and respect. The handshake is used to exchange “Kandi”, which are usually bright colored bracelets made of plastic beads and elastic string. Kandi Kids are those who go to raves and practice PLUR and genuinely believe in this philosophy of loving and understanding everyone. By swapping these bracelets, this philosophy is spread to others and a part of each is given to others. My informant learned this at her rave experience, and the girl who introduced her to it was also introduces at her first rave.