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Korean Gangs

October 22, 2014

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Well, this was a little bit uncomfortable to film. How do we talk about Korean gangs in a playful manner and make jokes without ending up in cement shoes at the bottom of a river? Errrgh. Next time we’ll be more jokey in our TL;DR. Hopefully you still found it informative!

But, back to the topic of Korean gangs: part of the original TL;DR question was if there is a gang problem in schools, and I wanna talk a bit about it here, because I found the answer to be both fascinating and disturbing.

In Korea, 일진 (il-jin) is the term for school gangs. It used to refer just to high school gangs, but now it’s spreading to middle schools and even elementary schools as well. According to the National Police Agency, there are 일진 in 11.2% of Korean Middle/High schools (5339 schools to be exact), and is comprised of 597 groups amassing 6325 members in total. Some members from 일진 get scouted by actual gang groups as well.

Here’s what I found disturbing: supposedly the members of 일진 aren’t the stereotypical thuggish students you’d expect. Turns out that it’s model students, student presidents and all, that seem all nice and polite to their superiors but really run the 일진 behind closed doors. Why this freaks me out is because I totally remember an example of this while I was a teacher. I remember speaking with one of my co-teachers who told me the difficulties she was having with one of her students. Another student in her class confessed that he was being bullied for his money daily by the best student of the class. When the teacher talked to the model student’s parents, they freaked out. That’s impossible! He’s an angel! Look at his grades! And that’s what freaked her out: he wasn’t a bad kid. There are other bad kids in the class. It was the model student, though, that was the boss of all the bad kids. SOOOOO FREAKY.

What’s it like where you’re from? When I was growing up, the kids that turned to crime were clearly shitheads in class. When one of them would get arrested we’d all be like “yeah, that makes sense.” But, now that I think of the way student presidents in Korea can be parts of gangs, it kinda makes sense. They’re not being groomed to be henchmen: they’re growing up to be mob bosses.

Ahhh. And don’t ask us to say anything about what entertainment companies have ties to Korean gangs. Ain’t gonna happen ;D

Otherwise, HOLY SMOKES WE’RE BACK IN KOREA! Look at us making videos in our studio again! Sure, while we were in Europe we still posted two videos a week (which was MUCH better than our European tour the year before, in which we posted nothing for three weeks). Now we’re getting back to our regular schedule. New WANK tomorrow! LiveChat Friday! Wahoo!

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Korean Gangs

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  1. I live in Sweden and the only gang I can think of right now is a motorcycle gang called Hells Angels. I think they exist in other countries as well. They are not offically a gang but everyone knows them as that.

    5 years ago
  2. I was never exposed to gangs until High School. I live in Kansas and in a small relatively safe town. At the high school there would be a big hallway where they all stood at. One side was the red gang and the other the blue gang. They would stare at each other menacingly and sometimes talk shit to each other. We would always have administrators, these big ex football players, standing by in case something went down. I stayed away from them because I knew they weren’t people who would later be successful in life. A lot of them already had troubles with the law for various things. There was one day a fight broke out in a hallway as we were changing classes, it was a bit surreal to be so close to it. It wasn’t just guys who fought, there were also girls fighting. Sometimes they would be smart in planning their fights. Once 2 guys started a fight at one end of the school. They were just a distraction to get all the administrators on that side. Then while they were occupied the real fight would start on the other side of the school. Giving them plenty of time to fight without interference. While it wasn’t too odd to see a kid get arrested at school, I never feared for my life. As long as you didn’t have anything to do with them they left you alone. Most of the “gangsters” were just trying to act and look cool. In my opinion they looked stupid. Also the thought of getting jumped into a gang sounds horrid. I high school is way behind me but my little brother is a freshman now. He says there aren’t really any gangsters anymore. Maybe they stopped or maybe they just learned to be more discreet? Either way gangsters are not fun. I’m sure bigger cities have more horrifying gangster stories. My school didn’t have metal detectors that you had go through to get into school. I’ve heard of bigger cities actually having those and I can’t actually imagine having to go through it everyday.

    5 years ago
  3. Here in San Antonio, Tx, I have actually seen gang members walking around near the downtown area. Once, I actually saw a gangster standing in a dark alleyway in a pinstripe suit with tattoos all over, and he was making signs to someone…got the f*ck outta there, haha. But yeah, I live in a really great part of S.A., so I don’t see stuff like that very often.

    5 years ago
    • I am from San Antonio also and you can definitely tell who is in a gang just by looking at them. I live in the medical center so not so many gangsters but a few.

      5 years ago
  4. I live in Vancouver and I know most gangs hang around Surrey. People from Vancouver have this assumption that Surrey is where gangs are. But considering Surrey has a huge crime problem, it’s something even people from Surrey worry about. You’ll see gang issues in the newspaper and local news, but most of the time it’s in Surrey.

    There were 2 “gangs” in my high school, but it was really 2 different races going against each other. Also the teacher caught them in their “big epic fight” in the hallway and pinned one dude down. Also it was only for like 1 year of high school because most “gang member” left school.

    I’m not concenred about the gangsters in Vancouver. However, I’m more concerned about how in Hong Kong, protesters for the Umbrella movement are getting beaten up by anti occupy protesters. Those who were arrested for beating up the pro democracy protesters had ties to the triads. People have just assumed that the triads are being paid to do this.

    5 years ago
  5. Talking about gangs brought a lot of memories from my childhood. I’m from Honduras but now i live in the USA and my home country has very bad gang-related problems. In the neighborhood that I used to live, we had the gang Los Batos Locos (The Crazy Guys). It wasn’t as bad as other neighborhoods the main thing they did was steal and drug distribution. However, other places weren’t as “lucky”, you hear in the news of gang murdering people and killing each other to gain control of more territory in a daily basis. You can sometimes easily identify a gang member because they are covered in tattoos with their gang symbol or name. The main gangs are Mara Salvatrucha, and Mara 18 Street who were formed in California by Hispanic immigrants from Central America but due to the increase of crimes for which people could be deported, a significant number were sent back to their countries. You can read more about it here http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/60803/ana-arana/how-the-street-gangs-took-central-america.

    5 years ago
  6. Yep, I live in Tamaulipas, one of the most dangerous states in Mexico, definitely knows who they are: /

    5 years ago
  7. I grew up in a suburb in NJ right outside of New York City with a large Korean-American population and there was definitely a discernible Korean gang presence, though it seemed to fade as the years went on. I remember when I was in middle school, I’d frequently hear rumors of interracial conflicts between members of “Korean Power”, or KP for short, and non-Koreans in high school. Even though this was only 15 years or so ago, the high school I went to was de facto segregated between Koreans and non-Koreans. Members of KP, as well as most other Koreans, typically wore all-black clothing and only hung out with other Koreans. Allegedly their power base resided in NYC. It was never anything serious, as far as I saw, though I did overhear stories of assaults and gun-flashing. The worst of the conflicts died down right before I entered high school, though because I was a Korean-American who didn’t choose sides, I was effectively ostracized and harassed by both sides.

    There was also some mild gang activity in the surrounding suburbs, which happened to have a high African-American population; it was a predominantly Blood presence. Latin King and Ñeta activity was present in Hispanic communities throughout the area. In my personal experience, I noticed an increased representation of Crips and Folks as I went further south in New Jersey. Quite frankly, the supposed gang members in Northern New Jersey were mostly a bunch of wannabes who bragged about their high-ranking cousin from New York or whatnot. Many Italian-Americans were the same way when it came to their alleged Mafia ties. I actually got caught up in gang culture myself as a teen which should help illustrate how much of a joke organized crime had become by that point. By that time, the early 2000’s, Giuliani had already cleaned up New York and its trickle-down effects had spread to neighboring North Jersey. Newark still wasn’t great, but it was improving. On the other hand, places such as Irvington and especially cities in the southern part of New Jersey such as Camden and Atlantic City are still third-world warzones, so it can be assumed that gang presences are still serious in those areas.

    I’m not particularly surprised when you guys mentioned the bright Korean schoolkids domineering over their classmates. In the end, the only real difference between the criminal gang activity of street hooligans and corporatist despots is the level of organization and integration into civil society they can effectively achieve. (Brief soapbox rant here: If the Korean government really wanted to get rid of organized crime, they’d legalize and regulate prostitution and gambling and decriminalize drugs, but that’s a topic for another day.) I read an international study recently which stated that the virtue South Koreans feel is most important to personal success was not hard work or education; rather, it was who you knew, your social connections. South Korea was the only nation surveyed which felt that way. Considering the tight, clan-oriented social structure that Korean institutions employ, as well as the intensely competitive school environment, it’s not all that surprising to see children from an early age trying to get ahead by forming self-interested tribal units.

    On a slightly unrelated note: since you guys mentioned the growing representation of gang life in Korean movies, I’d really be interested to hear your thoughts on South Korean cinema as a whole as compared with Western/international cinema. I’ve become a big fan over the years due to the unconventional storytelling of Korean filmmakers and ever-increasing production values; the Anglosphere aside, I don’t think anyone’s been putting out the kind of quality and talent that they have.

    5 years ago
  8. I put my googling skills to work and I found two entertainment companies that have/had ties with gangs.
    One of them is not a very well known company and the other is one of the big ones. =O Okay, I’m not really surprised…I just had to confirm for myself.

    5 years ago
  9. I’m from Galicia (Spain) and, sadly, here exists some clan-based smuggling groups that can be very intimidating if you interfere with their “business”. That clans are families that have connections mostly with Colombian cartels, Portuguese clans and British organized crime groups, and usually recruit some young men with nothing to lose to work for them. They can be dangerous to people from other clans or traitors, but if you are a normal person you have absolutely nothing to fear.
    Aside of this, there are a few gangs, mostly branches of foreign mafias (South America, Italy, Russia and China) that work mostly in Madrid and in the Mediterranean coast.
    And finally, In Spain there is not a youth gang culture. At schools there are bullies, usually bad students, and I think that’s all. Maybe there are some gangs based on radical right and ultra left ideas that often fight between them. I guess Spanish civil war is still very present in our minds…

    My writing skills are very rusty and I wrote this very quickly, sorry for all the mistakes I may have made.

    5 years ago
  10. There’s definitely gangs in Malaysia. Not too long ago, there was a bomb explosion and it’s rumored that it’s because of a gang fight.

    5 years ago
    • Oh yeah, gangs, the primary reason for the government to blame every crime on the Indian Maysians…

      5 years ago
  11. In Los Angeles, yes. Since I moved to Denver area, mostly just here about gang violence on the news. Think here in America they are more violent. In my 3 weeks there, I didn’t here of any random acts of violence from gangs, but also could be because I don’t understand Korean that much. Side note: If anyone is thinking of vacationing in South Korea, I say do it! It is an amazing place. Airfare is not that much and AirBnB has affordable housing.

    5 years ago
  12. We have the “narcos” here in Mexico, i don’t even know how many “cartels” there are. There’s also the independent groups of hired assassins or “sicarios”, coupled with street gangs and popular sindicates from the poorest neighborhoods all over the country, I can’t even recall them all.
    You can tell someone is affiliated by the way they dress: baggy clothing and lots of tattoos are mostly low on status. Then come the flashy bosses wearing boots and belts and gold jewelry in the northern mexican fashion and driving giant pick-ups with tinted glasses, and THEN you have the really important ones, dressed so casually and discreet, but always in super deluxe cars and wearing luxurious items….
    So yeah, it’s all fun….oh boy. u_u

    5 years ago
    • Its sad though, i lived in Mexico for 6 years, from when i was ten until i turned 16 and at first i didn’t see much of that until i grew up more. I remember onetime a candidate to be governor of the state of hidalgo came to the town where we lived and the town filled up with huge pick-ups and other good cars, we somehow knew that he was probably being supported by those people and i have never feared more going outside or making some sort of eye contact or something with them. Also in a town no so far from where i lived it is known for its population carrying guns at all times and my mom wouldn’t let me go to any party or dance there or near because there are almost always fights and gunshots there… :(
      I moved back to the US 3 years ago and now every time i go back to visit i feel so scared. I kinda freaked out the first time a security person took video of everyone on the bus, later i realized it was for safety or to identify people, as in if anything happens we’ll know who’s body is who’s. The place where i used to live is a small town that didn’t really get much bad influence and i used to be able to arrive home late or students would stay late at night at the basketball courts playing past midnight…. now people aren’t outside past 10…
      I wanted to go back to live in Mexico but how things are going lately i honestly have a lot of fear and i’d prefer to stay in the US until things get better T_T i miss everything in Mexico though…

      5 years ago
    • Yep, I live in Tamaulipas, one of the most dangerous states in Mexico, definitely knows who they are: /

      5 years ago
    • ‘Kay….so I’m going to the US this coming winter and I’m getting pretty scared…I’ll do everything in the morning and get back home as soon as the sun starts to set…

      5 years ago
    • don’t even remind me of that, it has been so bad these last years its already pretty common to hear a group of people were found that in this or that way in this or that place. It’s gotten so bad and common I’ve sadly become pretty much meh to it. Though it is good you mention this, now I know how to look out for these people when I’m at home.

      5 years ago
  13. I have no idea if there are any gangs in the Netherlands, but it would be cool if there’s one gang called “the stroopwafel gang”. “You give us stroopwafels, we give you information.”

    5 years ago
  14. On a side note… When I stayed at the Shilla in Seoul this summer, tattoos were banned from their pool area. I have a tiny tattoo (about the size of a US quarter) on my foot that had to be covered up to get in. ^^

    5 years ago
  15. Australia has had a lot of issues with gangs in recent years. Mainly motorbike gangs. You can’t really recognise most of them on the streets especially since a whole lot of new laws came through. The the main gangs you hear about though are the Hells Angels, Rebels, Bandidos, Comanchero, Coffin Cheaters, etc (some of which I am pretty sure came over from places like America?). I wasn’t really aware of any of it until they started appearing on the news and two of my friends got involved with guys in gangs (not at the same time). The only time I have personally come across anything was because my sister has a big mouth and accidentally offended some woman who had gang connections. It took a lot of smooth talking on my part to get us out of there.

    5 years ago
  16. It’s interesting how even in the States things are totally different. I live in Maine (Purple Region) and it’s very….boring. Not much happens here, I’ve never even heard of gangs in Maine (or in my general area at least.) Maine’s supposedly the 4th safest state in the country after NH, VT, and ND. If there are gangs here, they’re EXTREMELY underground. But so I hear, in other states, you can immediately recognize gang members from non gang members.

    5 years ago
    • Yeah! Same here! I live in Maine too! In my school we don’t have a lot of gangs or anything, but we have TONS of people who do bad things on their own. Drugs and stuff.

      5 years ago
  17. I remember the suburb I grew up in had one big gang problem, a kinda famous scary gang, and the city I was next to had all sorts of neighborhoods considered very not safe, but not necessarily because of gangs. But in my neighborhood, the gang headquartered itself there because there was this small group of houses that were on the border of two counties exactly, so if you called one police they would tell you to call the other… and vice versa… and the state police would say to call one of the county polices… so the police would never come. It’s brilliant actually. But very bad police work.

    My friend was the neighbor of the gang leader for our region when I was in high school (who knew? I did not) and I used to babysit for him when my friend couldn’t. He was a really nice guy… :-/ Before I went to college I remember one time he pulled me aside and told me how much he appreciated me and how I was a great kid, and then… “if you ever need ANYTHING, you know where to find me”. Makes me feel uneasy and very cool at the same time.

    5 years ago
  18. I live in NYC so its a taken that you can point out all the possible members of gangs. My brother a couple years ago was coming home from his part-time job at night and he encountered a gang. They stole his money and beat him up. He came home bloody and we called the police. I go to school in the Bronx where its known to be ‘the hood’ so I almost never go home alone, I always have a friend with me on my one-hour commute home.

    5 years ago
  19. In Spain, as far as I know, there are certain places in the city which you would avoid going to day time and night time just because the streets are empty, it’s kinda shabby looking, empty, silent and there are groups of teenagers hanging out smoking, drinking and trying to look cool. Usually you can kind of tell who they are. Basically its the shaved head, piercings, baggy clothing, smoking, drinking, spitting, cat-whistling that points them out… Usually we call them NiNi’s (ni trabaja ni estudia (doesnt study doesnt work)) so they really have nothing to do but hang around crappy places, smoke and party.

    I’m sure there must be some real gang’s somewhere but as far as I know they’re not really “out there”.

    5 years ago
  20. The lame thing we have in England is chavs. They’re the kind of people who feel entitled, that they can say or do what they want, since they haven’t been brought up to respect other people properly. It’s hard to feel totally comfortable around them since they’re the sort of person who responds aggressively to the wrong eye contact, and they seem to have short tempers since they’re not brought up to handle their emotions properly.

    Problems in England are normally caused by this kind of person I think, and they can start pretty young. As teenagers for sure they’re fascinated by gang culture and you do get ‘gangs’ of them. There are also serious gangs but they’re more behind-the-scenes I think.

    5 years ago
    • OOH! I know about them from the internets! Don’t they say something like “U fokkin wot m8? I’ll bash yer head in I will, swear on me mum?” At least, that’s what I saw written online :D

      5 years ago
      • You don’t really see gangs on the street in London, but chavs abound. The best ‘thug’ phrase I’ve heard is “Are you talkin’ to me or chewin’ a brick? Either way you’re gonna lose some teeth!”

        5 years ago
  21. Where I live in Canada (Montreal) it’s considerate a very safe place, and it is! But, this is also a very multicultural city, and we can see that immigrants with financial issues are generally regrouped in particular neighborhoods. When someone from a gang walks alone in the downtown streets we cannot say if he/she is from a gang because usually they are subtile, but if we go in those particular neighborhoods, the ambiance in the streets says it all!

    One of my friend lived in one of thoses neighborhood without knowing and it happen that in like 4 months in the summer, we’ve heard in the news that there have been three murders on the streets next to her (It.was.so.scary. we saw blood on a house).

    Also, drugs like marijuana seems like it’s not taken that seriously here. When I was in high school and even in college, it was SO evident that some people did take some between classes or some people were even making their cigarettes in the school or in the bus and it was kind of rare that people were saying something about it. There was a guy smelling marijuana so bad when he was coming in class and it took 3 years before school did something.

    So, if you come to Montréal, don’t worry! It’s safe, but don’t go in the wrong neighborhoods.

    5 years ago
    • Went to verdun before. Spent some time in an apartment there. Someone was shooting guns outside. And there’s a repair shop that belongs to Hell’s Angels right next to our place.

      5 years ago
  22. Hmmmmm, in Greece there’s both the Greek mafia and actual street gangs, but I find that neither is easy to spot and it’s all very much behind the scenes. But then again, I’m not often in central Athens. From what I understand, the mafia is mainly involved in smuggling drugs since we have such an advantage sea-wise. Contrary to what many people say (bashing on Greece has become a “thing”) Athens is actually pretty safe in comparison to many other cities. The rate of petty crimes has risen due to the crisis, but you rarely hear about more serious crimes. There’s basically just one specific place to avoid (Omonia Square/Omonia in general) at night, but other than that you should be good. Pickpockets tend to target naive-looking tourists that look lost and easy to target.

    5 years ago
  23. ooh now i know where the term il-jin comes about haha. always been reading comments and i’ll be like “so what’s up with being a gangster?” then i realise it has deeper meaning to it then just a high school delinquent who disobeys school rules and stuff haha. i read that Japan and S.Korea shares a long history with mafias, and that almost more than half of the yakuza oyabuns were actually ehtnic koreans..

    my country’s red light district is probably controlled by the local gangster groups which i’ve never heard of before. It’s in the 70-80s era where all the gangster-ish stuff is really on a rampage. There are of course, those mini gangs which attracts school kids. Apparently, there are cases where if you have eye-contact with one of them you will get your ass kicked. Or even worse, murdered on the spot in the open space with a knife. Happened before, went on news. But it’s not anything bad here, as long as you don’t find for one or disturb them haha.

    5 years ago
  24. In my country is very easily to distinguish one : he has a big large backneck and usually bald and full of muscles, or a really handsome man with nice body, but most important is the car they driving (the most expensive from the town, buyed with money from their bussiness and that they only go to dance/night clubs). And their bussines is prostitution and my country is among the 11 countries listed by the United Nations as the biggest sources of human trafficking, based on reported numbers of victims. And i know it because my town is full of pimps , i can say from a glance if he is or is not… and it’s a big problem

    5 years ago
  25. USA and gangs? They go together like PB&J!

    I live on Long Island and there are towns that you DO NOT go to at night (Especially near train stations or convenience stores). By where my dad lives, there’s noted gang activity. The Bloods and the Crips are the big ones, but there’s also a growing number in Hispanic gangs as well. I’ve seen tags on fences claiming territory. And yes, you KNOW when if someone’s in a gang or in the mob. I knew of a bakery that was a front for illegal gambling that was right next door to where I would go to work out. Another time there was a pizza place with mob connections that was selling fireworks right out of their shop. They put the fireworks right next to the oven!

    Anyways, in regards to the bullying and school gangs, I’ve not seen gangs but I would hear rumors from time to time. Especially since my town is next door to a town known for it (There’s been shootings at that school on the news sometimes).

    5 years ago
  26. I am not really sure but in Singapore, normally at those red light district, gang members are more obvious. They would normally have tattoos and would walk in those style that what you will see in the movies. There is a notorious gang which had an incident happened just in 2010. If illegal money lenders are also counted, they would recruit students to help them to get back their money so that if anything happen the boss would not be caught. There are also student gangs, but are usually quite obvious (eg. tattoo or smoking)

    And I would like to say again, I am not 100% sure, its just from what I hear and see.

    5 years ago
  27. so I lived in Detroit Michigan for a while. even just hearing it sounds scary right ?? there are gangs and drugs all that stuff. what is surprising is that you do not find that many drugs in schools at all. in more suburban neighborhoods you find way more drugs in school. in schools in Detroit you have to go through metal detectors and get patted down before you can even go in the school. but all in all Detroit as a whole seem to be split up like gangs. where you live a group up is like what you represent for. like there is 7 mile, 6 mile 8 mile and so on. you never talk about someone or bring up where they live. it is hard to understand but I do say Detroit is bad. I only really know from a schools point of view. example even though we get checked before you come into the school. others still find things to use as to hurt others. I seen a girl take a ink pen and stab another girl in the neck a couple of times. it is scary what some people would do.

    5 years ago
    • I feel you. I’m from Flint. I understand. God some of the things that have happened… It’s so awful.

      5 years ago
  28. This was a very interesting TL;DR for all it’s information and lack of information – I understand, it’s a hard topic to cover…..safely….yeah. I appreciate the effort though because this is a topic I was curious about. Despite what people usually think, there actually is gang activity out here in the rural areas of Canada. You won’t know when you see them though because many of them are Mennonite and well, they blend in with the other Mennonites but some of them are drug runners. Who would suspect people who’s whole identity is so Christian? Yep, every fall you can see the SWAT teams mass at the gas station in town as they get ready to raid the fields for maryjane. It’s sad but growing up on a farm or a Native Reserve can be a very hard life and it’s attractive to kids to try to escape as fast as possible, whatever the risks or consequences. Back in the 1980s when I was in high school, there were a couple of drug dealers but not really any gang activity per se. I did have a teacher though that wouldn’t let us play cards (not even gin-rummy or crazy eights) at school because she felt it led to a life of gambling – eventually I convinced her that it was a better/less risky use of our free time than throwing dice ;) . It almost seems like even the gangs were against recruiting so young back then, but that’s obviously changed.

    Martina – I can’t believe that your Mom called you a “turkey”! That’s so funny! I had never heard of anyone doing that except in the hilarious series of books that I bought for my son (the “Matthew and the Midnight ___” by Allen Morgan and Michael Martchenko) – maybe it’s a Toronto thing?

    Do you guise feel like you lived in a a sort of bubble back when you were teaching? Like you were sheltered from Korean things outside of the school? And then, the further you moved away from those years, more like a bubble of close friends? Then now, in a youtuber bubble? We all tend to create a comfort bubble when away from home. It’s hard to know how much interaction you actually have with Korean society as a whole, but I would imagine that it’s wider now, since you have your own company and interact with others in Korea for work so much more. I don’t know how to phrase this as a topic/question, but it would be interesting to follow that development since it obviously has affected your opinions and TL;DRs over the years.

    Cyber_3 – watched some old TL;DRs today, while Simon+beard = good, still Simon-beard = better, hard to say why though, maybe faces with beards are less expressive?

    5 years ago
    • Well, previously:
      When I lived in London, Ontario I didn’t know anything about the area I moved into and it was pretty notorious. I ended up moving in to the house next door to the “Don” of the neighbourhood. Drug deals happened below my window all the time (at least I was on the 2nd floor of the house I was in) but the Don had 5 daughters so he protected me and shoo-ed dealers away when I was outside. I moved once my lease was up. I also lived in a coachhouse in an alley in Toronto at one point where you would think that there were gangs meeting and what not, but there never was, only drunks barfing and people taking shortcuts to the subway station, actually very safe.

      5 years ago
  29. Ive worked in a korean hotel in a korean town the philippines. i have met few members of gangs there. one guy flew here because he said he will be killed if he goes back to korea.. they live in busan and seems like they go in ranks and call each other “brothers”

    5 years ago
  30. Here in Sweden, there are some small gangs, almost all run by immigrants who come from bad countries. We even have “ghettos”, but truthfully they aren’t even close to ghettos that are found in America. They’re just slightly poorer/unsafe areas, usually where foreigners live. Of course, not all immigrants are in a gang! xD Only a tiny, tiny amount.

    We are having some serious issues with gangs and drugs. And we’ve experienced a “rape epidemic”. Since a lot of foreigners come from the Middle East, and the majority of the rapes and gangs and drugs are done/dealt by foreigners….Well, you can guess the reaction of some. Some people are angry at those foreigners, even the ones who didn’t do anything bad. It’s caused some serious tension in the country. Not to mention there’s a white supremacist party that’s been getting a concerning amount of votes by people. But that’s for another topic. orz;;

    I can’t think of any gang names, but I do know they exist. They’re just really taboo.

    ….With the exception of biker gangs. But they’re not really gangs like the traditional kind. They can be involved with illegal activity, but they also won’t be. Hell’s Angels wannabes are about as bad as they get. I know a distant relative who has a friend who’s dad used to be in a biker gang. But she said the worst they did was beat up a guy who was trying to steal an old lady’s purse.

    (Disclaimer: You’re at least 10 times more likely to get mauled by a moose than experience crime in Sweden. Actually, make that 20. :P)

    5 years ago
    • Hello!
      I felt really sad reading your comment as I felt it was a misrepresentation of Sweden. Well, apart from the fact that we might not actually have that many “obvious” gangs. However, you correctly wrote that we have biker gangs, which we do, and while I agree that most of the members are not involved in any illegal activity, others definitely are. My sisters’ ex-boyfriends’ father was a Hell’s Angels member and he’d done a lot worse than beating up a random dude for stealing a lady’s purse. (But apparently he made a mean apple-cake :))

      As for your comment that most rapes and drug related crime are committed by foreigners or immigrants well, that’s just plain wrong. There is no true statistic that says that more rapes are committed by immigrants or foreigners and the numbers that says otherwise were mostly made-up by the extreme right-wing.

      Even if you did say that only a tiny, tiny amount of immigrants are in a gang you then went on to basically call them rapists and drug-lords and I will not stand by as I read a comment that’s full of the same passive racism that’s taking a hold of our nation and although I am SURE that you didn’t mean to sound xenophobic I would say it came off that way. Putting the blame the immigrants and all that, because we didn’t have rape or drugs or gangs or even crime before the immigrants came! (That is irony that might not translate on the internet or with written words)

      I know this comment probably reads really harsh and I am sorry if I offended you as a person but I would advise you to look up the true facts before you continue to spread lies about a large part of the Swedish population.

      I hope I haven’t instigated an internet fight (would be the first one for me so I don’t know the rules!), I would much rather be mauled by a moose!! :)

      5 years ago
    • I’m from Sweden too, Gothenburg to be exact, and there is starting to become a huge problem here. There is starting to creep up streetgangs, but the biggest problem for me, is the fact that there is starting to creep up uni-gangs. People in their 20’s that starts drug rings and the like, also a lot of prostitution. It’s problematic.

      5 years ago
  31. my boyfriend grew up in parst of the country side of South Korea, and told me schools would form their own gangs and have mini wars against one another, the older students would be like the ring leaders of the gang training the younger ones

    5 years ago
  32. In Australia there are gangs, mainly motorcycle gangs. The gov. was freaking out early in the year and cracking down on them and sending people to jail. These gangs run massive drug rings and can be super violent, but it got to the point of paranoia that if two or more “gang members” were in the same house they would be sent to jail. (Don’t quote me on that, I could be wrong)
    But in the smaller towns like mine the Indigenous population have so many gangs, and you can tell which area a gang is in because they tag their group signature on everything. It gets to the point sometimes where there will be multiple gang signatures on top of each other. I don’t think anything of it when I see these, to me its just graffiti, its not dangerous unless you are apart of the gang culture.
    To me coming from a smallish city its not surprising that there are kids in middle school who are in gangs, because in my town its the same, you will see little groups of them running around the place, they are mostly harmless, but its their older brothers you have to look out for.

    5 years ago
    • Oh and I should say that not all Indigenous people are in a gang, just where I live the majority of gangs are made up of Indigenous people.

      5 years ago
  33. Funny you should mention gangs. Apparently where we all gathered for the Hallyucon in West Amsterdam is where a lot of gang related shootings have happened recently. Not right there specifically, but in the general area. I guess it’s mostly interracial gang related activity, I’m really not sure since I’m not really into that scene, haha.

    5 years ago
    • Lilysnape!!!!!!! Always great to see you in person and then online again! *tears up* We’re sorry we didn’t get a chance to talk to you in person longer BUT your brownies were delicious! We hadn’t eaten since the early afternoon so we ate them all before we left the hall. Hahaha!

      5 years ago
  34. My

    Just a heads up guise, a dialect is used to describe different regional speech patterns, while an accent is how you would sound speaking a different language, like how you two are speaking korean or how I’m speaking english! :)

    5 years ago
  35. In Australia the bikie gangs are the most obvious ones. But you also can’t always tell if someone is a bad gang member or just a bikie… there are plenty of groups that do charity stuff and then there are the ones running drug and prostitution rings… In Sydney I hear about Chinese gangs and apparently they run China town and anyone with a store there has to pay money to the gang if they don’t want to get killed…. but don’t know how true that is.

    In Korea, Hugh says that gangs often recruit from high schools. If they hear about a kid who is good at fighting or something, they lure them into the gang.

    I don’t know… I’m so innocent and naive… haha

    5 years ago
  36. Here in Germany, I don’t know of any gangs actually. I know there must be some, but I don’t think they are that present or known, or maybe I just don’t watch the news enough… :D
    But I know that – of course – there are especially some (illegal) Nazi-groups which caused trouble in the past, there was one case where a Nazi-gang killed a bunch of people of a different race I think.
    And there are certain places and neighborhoods you don’t go to alone at night and that ish but I think it’s like that everywhere.

    5 years ago
    • Agreed. The most problematic groups here are the nazis, though there are quite a few youth “gangs”, at least in bigger cities. Though of course those aren’t gangs like the mafia or such, just a bunch of troubled teens/young adults with no perspective, making a lot of trouble, getting in fights, stealing, drinking, doing drugs and things like that.

      5 years ago
  37. Gangs huh? There’s maybe a few gangs I know of in the Netherlands.. This one time I wanted to go to China Town in the Hague and my mother was hesitant of me going there because she said there’s Chinese Mafia there. Apparently it’s common knowledge but when I was there I didn’t notice anything. You also have football Hooligans who pretty much rampage and destroy everything (not after soccer competitons per se). Hells Angels (I bet most people know this one), the motor gang. Of these 3 hooligans are the ones you see the most on the streets. (that’s in the big city)

    And as for youth gangs.. there’s these kids (often foreign descent but not always) that hang around at night in all Adidas sport suits and those caps/snapbacks and then they have those fake brand bags around their necks. It’s not one specific gang but it’s something you can run into a lot especially in the big cities. I have experienced that these small (20 people at most) youth gangs can get very hostile especially if you’re a girl/lady on your own at night.

    5 years ago
    • Those youth gangs… they suck. I live next to a rather bad neighbourhood, and honestly, they sometimes scare me. I’ll be just minding my own business, and then there are these 14-16 year old kids that come calling you a prostitute and when you don’t react (or if you do that probably doesn’t matter)they get aggressive and stuff. -_-‘ I’ve learnt my lesson, you just go around these groups. I used to hope for the best and that they would leave me alone while I was passing, but obviously I was wrong.
      these kids really need some guidance, preferably from armed police…

      5 years ago
  38. Eek!!! Seriously, what is up with all the gangs!!! That is super interesting though about the nice student being the ringleader. Sometimes I worry about the K-Ent’s love of all things gangster. And all that goes with it: death, crime, prostitution, drugs, etc. And even knowing all this crazy stuff, I do feel safe living here in Korea. Though I am not really going to walk around by myself late at night.

    5 years ago
  39. This is fantastic. On the dialect adoption thing, that’s common here in the US too. It’s nothing to hear a young man sound ” hood-tastic” with his buddies and then be all “yes, ma’am. No, ma’am.” with his mom or grandmother.
    Where I live (my house, not my city) I have to drive through what was contested gang territory. It’s not contested any more, I don’t know who “got” it, but it was stressful for a while. I also remember (cue the old lady voice) when the Bloods and Crypts and their subsidiary gangs made their way to my city. They’re not that bad, we’ve also got the Latin Kings and some other gang I can’t remember. Oh! And Greek mafia as well as old-school Italian mafia.
    Like y’all said, that doesn’t mean that where I live is scary or dangerous or like a movie. 90% of people never realize that the gang exists.

    5 years ago
    • I actually talked for a bit about how I had a fake gangsta accent when I was younger, and had one pant leg rolled up and thought I was hood, but then I cut it out of the video, because it went on for too long. But, yes, I too was hood-tactic :D

      5 years ago
      • I know I can’t be the only one who can’t believe that happened. Pictures to prove it!! LOL!

        5 years ago
  40. Great topic! As a foreigner living in Korea, I’ve had several relatives ask me, “So… I know that Japan has the Yakuza, does Korea have gangs like that?” I’ve always brushed it off and said no way. It’s eye opening to hear that there are so many, and especially the 일진 statistics! YIKES. Elementary school too? Is it over who gets the best juice boxes…?

    5 years ago
    • That’s what I want to know: how can this happen in elementary schools? I’m guessing it’s for lunch money or something, or just to practice power dynamics? I really don’t know…

      5 years ago
      • I think it happens when these kids are picking on someone who is perceived as “different.” Does that make any sense?

        5 years ago
      • Actually, there have been cases even in Toronto (Canada) of elementary school students being in gangs (mostly immigrants that I have seen in the news). There were cases where an adult gang would surround their victim and then have the 11- or 12-year-old pull the trigger because they could not be punished for the crime as a child. It totally blows my mind that there might be gangs in elementary schools here (or anywhere) when I think about it. Kids are much easier to trick/lure and train though…….brrr……..

        5 years ago