Cool dudes!!


I watched these guys for ages as they were chatting to friends & being generally the life & soul of the street. As soon as I put the camera up to grab a quick shot, they spotted me & posed. It was perfect. We chatted for ages afterwards as I couldn’t just walk off after they had posed for me. What a great pair. I just so wish I had asked what their names were. Next time, but thanks again guys.

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5 thoughts on “Cool dudes!!

    • I can’t stand them!

      The idea of using hand signals like these originated with the Chinese Triad criminal secret societies (Mafia). Factions like the Wo Hop To and Big Circle Boys would use them to secretly signal to each other which triad they were affiliated with. Some members used them to indicate their ranks (“gang ranks”) within a group. Sometimes they’re used as indication that a gangster has either entered a rival faction’s territory with a “business” proposal they might be interested in, or is just passing through.

      Triads are run by mob bosses ranging from their late twenties to 70′s, if they live that long. The hand signs were — perhaps still is, mostly associated with the young and cocky ma jai (“little horses”) who are the soldiers in their adolescence to mid twenties.

      These hand signals have found their way into western juvenile subcultures as a result of Interpol, FBI, and municipal police agencies showing surveillance photos of captured and convicted Triad members to the media. As the gangsters would try to only use the signals in secret, the signals were only captured in surveillance photos and video recordings. The Media, of course, shows pictures of the felons brandishing their signals and juvenile delinquents have picked it up like it’s something cool.

      Now there are street gangs all over the world that imitate the Triad hand gestures, and they don’t do it in secret. It’s now become about showing off. Adding insult to injury, there are many kids who may not be in any sort of gang but are somewhat in love with the gangster image; maybe the two pictured above. So they go around flashing these stupid hand gestures as though they mean something important.

      They’re not something for people’s children to emulate. That’s what they are.

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