Triad is a Chinese secret society. These Triads came into existence in the seventeenth century as resistance fighters against the Manchu invaders. Two styles of Chinese secret society became prevalent. The styles referred to a certain set of organizational structures, carefully preserved traditions and patterns of behavior which their members were expected to follow.
Triads eventually developed into crime groups. Triads or Chinese secret society had great membership in southern China and also many foreign countries. Among these Chinese secret societies, the Hung society, was most common in Southern China.
As most overseas Chinese came originally from the southern provinces of Fujien (Fukien) or Guangdong (Canton), this is also the style of the Chinese secret society most commonly seen outside of China, as in North America or South East Asia.
Triads or Chinese secret society Ching or "Green" societies are based on a style more common originally in Northern China. In North American cities which have a Chinatown it is possible to find the headquarters of the tongs, themselves branches of the Hung society. To those familiar with their names these buildings are conspicuous because of their elaborate architecture.
The primary unit of the Hung society was the lodge or local branch. It was to the local branch that the members of a sworn brotherhood owed their primary loyalty.
Triads or Chinese secret society also refers to a member of any of several Chinese secret societies in various countries, who are usually involved in criminal activities.
Triads or Chinese secret society also refers to a group or set of three persons,
things, attributes, etc.
Triads or Chinese secret society also refers to a Welsh form of literary composition characterized by an arrangement of subjects or statements in groups of three.