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Death, crime and sex: the meaning of sneakers hanging on cables

Death, crime and sex: the meaning of sneakers hanging on cables

If you are someone who has the habit of going for a walk at night and turning your eyes to the sky to look for the moon and the stars, surely you have found something less romantic: sneakers hanging from the cables .

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These objects, regularly dirty and old, became part of the urban landscape, mainly in neighborhoods and popular neighborhoods .

There is no consensus on what it means to hang tennis shoes from power lines, but there are various customs and traditions that explain why there are so many of them and in places around the world.

One of them, the most accepted in Mexico , has to do with the popular phrase "hang up tennis shoes" , which refers to the death of a person.

According to tradition, when someone dies, relatives or friends choose the sneakers with which the deceased walked the most and hang them on the cables near their home.

The belief says that in this way the soul of the deceased will be closer to heaven and will have his favorite shoes to travel the long stretch towards eternity .

tradition of criminals

Muerte, crimen y sexo: el significado de los tenis colgados en cables

In the United States they have a less romantic way of interpreting tennis shoes hanging on cables ; these objects are more popular in cities that have a large presence of criminal groups and gangs .

The hanging shoes are said to be a kind of "trophy" , as they belong to murder victims who died at the hands of some member of the gang that controls the territory .

The authorities also affirm that the tennis shoes hung on cables are a way to indicate drug sales points as well as a way to delimit territories disputed by criminal gangs to warn their enemies not to enter that area .

Although it is said that this meaning was born in the United States, the tradition quickly spread to several countries in the Americas.

In Colombia, for example, they took this custom further: criminals also used them to place security cameras and create surveillance circuits in high-traffic areas to avoid surprise operations by the authorities .

The art of hanging sneakers

Given the expansion of this custom, in European countries it was adopted as a form of urban art called "shoefiti", a word that arises by combining "shoe" (shoe) and "graffiti".

Artists hang footwear on wires to create patterns; they usually paint them in bright colors so that they can be seen from main avenues.

Other meanings of hanging sneakers on the cables

In some neighborhoods that are adept at playing soccer , it is customary for the captain of the losing team to remove his tennis shoes and hang them near where he suffered defeat to honor the winners .

On the other hand, they are also used to show that there is something to celebrate, such as a graduation or an upcoming marriage.

A few years ago, men who had sex for the first time also hung up their tennis shoes, which meant that they would stop wearing children's shoes to wear shoes associated with adulthood.

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