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The Harmless Far East Eses – Thai Men Dressing Up Like Mexican Gang Members

In an interesting new trend in Thailand, young men are choosing to dress themselves as Mexican gangsters. Their clothes (or lack thereof), hairstyles, and tattoos are all inspired by criminal gangs in Mexico and the US. They have even formed their own gangs – Balcony Pain, Fratez, and D Sixty, to name a few. But of course, copying dressing style won’t really make criminals out of decent men. None of these young copycats actually appreciate the brutal violence associated with real-life Latino gangs, they are just really big fans of the gangs’ fashion style and brotherhood mentality.

More than anything else, these men appreciate the ‘clean and simple’ gangster aesthetic because it suits the Thai weather very well. You’d actually be surprised to know that most of them hold nine to five jobs as teachers, policemen and bureaucrats. Some are family men who ask their wives’ permission before getting inked. Needless to say, they don’t fight, shoot each other or deal in drugs. They’re more like this large brotherhood of style-conscious men who bond well over their passion for gangster lifestyle and clothes.

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Photo: Zanya Tanantpapat/Coconuts Bangkok

“I am Ter D Sixty. During the day, I work in an office,” said one gang member. “At night, I’m a Mexican gangster. I’m a gangster at heart.”

“I am Yak Yai Fratez,” said another. “During the day, I’m a policeman. At night, I’m a gangster. Fratez Thailand gangster, you know?”

Several other men share similar stories – ordinary people by day, gangsters by night. D Sixty, in particular, is a 27-member gang from the Din Daeng district. They’ve been a gang for nine months now – it all began with three leaders who dressed like gangsters. The ‘younger dudes’ in the area were inspired, and soon joined the gang as well. “The reason we adopted the D is because our gang is restricted to Din Daeng locals only,” said Eak D Sixty, one of the leaders. “Outsiders cannot join us no matter how cool they are.”

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Photo: Zanya Tanantpapat/Coconuts Bangkok

When asked about how he got into the whole ‘Mexican gangster style’ dressing, Eak said: “I listened to hip hop and watched videos on YouTube. Also, my aunt who used to live abroad told me about it.” He also mentioned that Mexican style reflects his life very well. “I think I’m going to dress like this until I die,” he declared. Being part of the gang isn’t just about dressing though, he said that he found true friendship with his fellow gangsters. “Since we’re in the same ‘gang’ everyone loves one another. Before we never knew each other and were even enemies, but now we can hang together.”

Shiro Local, a member of the Balcony Pain gang, is a teacher of oriental medicine at Rangsit University. “Eight years ago, I started listening to rap music,” he said. “And I started seeing people dressing in Mexican style. I thought it was simple and fit the weather here. The style is somehow empowering. That’s why I like it.” Shiro said he met his gang through Facebook; they invited him to make music with them. One thing led to another and soon he was a member of Balcony Pain. The main message of his music is to let people know that they are being taken advantage of by corrupt officers.

 

Since Mexican culture isn’t very common in Thailand, most people don’t really get what these men are up to, but their families don’t seem to have any objection. The gangs aren’t exactly forbidden because they never really do anything bad. They’re just a group of people with similar interests. They hang out, get drunk, but they make sure never to cause any trouble to the public. See, now why can’t all gangsters be sweet like that?

Source: Coconuts Bangkok

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