Why you should care
His particular brand of masculinity can be found around the world, and in each locale, he’s earned a special name of his own. He is: the International Bro.
It’s funny how something can be all around you and still somehow not be clearly identified.
Bro Culture will never die.
You walk into a club and you see them. You decide against the club. You pull right into a parking lot and pull right back out after getting a glimpse of the tell-tale gold chains. If you have anything vaguely approaching a sense of self-preservation you give them wide berth – from Brussels and Berlin to Seoul and Tel Aviv – because where they go, certain things inevitably follow.
Track suits, man jewelery, snug shirts, cars (which, despite whatever reduced circumstance they may claim, are always tricked out) with supersonically significant sound systems, shades sometimes worn on the backs of their heads – and a propensity to be anywhere blows are about to be thrown, are being thrown or have freshly finished being thrown.
They are BROS. And Bro Culture will never die.
While men as a sub-genus have had a tough few decades since the massive cultural realignment wrought by the 1960s (despite all of that running the world hoo-hah), bros have been and will continue to be resilient, probably forever. As the very unreconstructed soul of masculine endeavor, bro culture exists in every country despite all efforts to reform it, change it or embarrass it away from itself.
Bros, if they can avoid incarceration, abide.
And a random global sampling gives us an OZY listicle to end all listicles. While it’s possible that having the words to identify that which is omnipresent might be unnecessary, we’re going to do it anyway. In the name of international erudition. And just so you can feel better than those around you who are NOT in the know.
While the list is far from complete – it’s a work in regress we’re quite sure – its reach spans far and wide. On your international travels, you may now know how to call the nearest bro by his local sobriquet:
TEL AVIV: Arcim
WARSAW: Burak or Dres (“While every Dres is a Burak, not every Burak is a Dres. Why? Because some Buraki wear suits, while all Dresy [Dres plural] wear sweats. So burak is a more a state of mind,” says non-Burak Rafal Bajena.)
BERGEN/OSLO: Harry, Ranere
BERLIN: After much struggle, the closest the Germans could get (which we find suspect) is Proll, short for Prolet
UNITED STATES: The American Bros could healthily be grouped under the super-group of DOUCHES but regional differences make for a magnificent tapestry of colors and variations, the most significant being, arguably, the East Coast v. West Coast differences.
BROOKLYN: Cugines (or more pejoratively: guidos)
LOS ANGELES: There will be much debate about this because it’s really a supergrouping masquerading as a subgroup and California, with its large spread of ethnicities, can’t lay the blame for this solely on Latino men. But, for their willingness to embrace the vibe, we’re going to have to add Cholo here.
We’d welcome your input and additions. To be sure, the Bro’s refusal to go gently into this good night without his gold chains makes his study a many splendored thing.
So, dig deep. And turn that car stereo up.
Bonus: There’s a term they use in Rome to refer to this particular masculine type. Know it? Give your guess in the comments below and we’ll give an OZY shirt to the first three to get it right.