The “gopniks” “culture” is a unique Russian phenomena formed in part by Soviet lifestyle and in part greatly influenced by Soviet incarceration system. However lately its seems to be dying out – less and less of those are in Russia nowadays, in parts probably because of Internet.
Who are the Gopniks? Those were the street thugs who was a menace for a regular citizen passing by as they could beat him, take his possessions or simply harass.
Women are prone to this as well but of course at much rare rate.
So if you ever heard about the Gopniks you probably know there are two specific things that make them stand out and instantly recognizable at least on the Internet photos.
First – they squat. Sitting mostly in this typic “Slavic squat” position.
And thing number two – they wear sport cloths – mostly preferring Adidas.
With Adidas iconic three striped uniforms and squatting makes it instantly anyone look like a “gopnik” representative.
So why they do it?
Squatting has its roots from Russian prisons. According to the stories the beds are being raised in the daytime and inmates have to spend whole day on their legs – no chairs, and the floor is too cold to sit on it. So this way squatting culture appeared, sort of a prison attributed like sagged pants of US inmates.
And this way it went to streets and as sagged pants look sort of “gansta” outside the US prison the same the squatting thing made people look “experienced” and more gangsta.
So you can see it everywhere in post USSR. Not only in Russia. Like in Ukraine or Kazakhstan – two biggest ex Soviet countries after Russia – this culture is alive there too.
The iconic cap or hat is also often an attribute of a gopnik.
But why wear Adidas?
According to the most consensus Adidas (or other sportswear) is sort of very comfortable for the most activities gopniks are engaged in. Being petty street criminals at most their business is to rob and run, often fight in a process.
So it’s sort of much more comfortable to fight and run wearing sport wear rather than tight jeans or suite pants.
And Adidas obsession probably comes from the Soviet times when everything Western was very “cool” and in shortage, and Adidas was very recognized brand from behind the Iron Curtain. So it still stands as most popular sport brand from the West.
The squatting culture is getting its imprint in other areas of life even on such Western made as those M&M figures adopting it.
Like, customer is priority for the company so squatting together with your client when he wants this is sort of a normal thing. Client oriented so to say.
But as we said before later in 2010s the phenomena started to diminish. Less and less millenials adopt it.