Asian District Helps Cheer On Oklahoma City Marathon Runners

As runners took to the Oklahoma City streets, they also had the opportunity to see the many neighborhoods and cultures that make up OKC. 

Sunday, April 30th 2023, 4:22 pm



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As runners took to the Oklahoma City streets, they also had the opportunity to see the many neighborhoods and cultures that make up OKC. 

Thousands of runners made their way through more than 20 neighborhoods here in Oklahoma City, one being the historic Asian District. 

“We are a community that is really built out of a group of Vietnamese refugees who settled here after the Vietnam war in 1975,” Andrea Schultz, Asian District Cultural Association executive director said. 

It’s a neighborhood built on resilience.

“We've been here almost forty years,” Schultz said.

It's that resilience that many can relate to, which is why they run to remember.

“Our community relates so much to the whole heart of the marathon where that was a tragedy that really showed the resilience and hope that really reunited the Oklahoma community which was very similar to the hope story that our Vietnamese community saw when they resettled here after the war,” Schultz said. 

This is the third year the Asian District has had a cheer zone for runners, and it's quickly become a fan favorite. Cynthia Hoang with the Hưng Việt Lion Dance Association said it's a chance to show off a little bit of their culture. 

“The lion dance is significant during the lunar new year and momentous celebrations,” Hoang said. 

Hoang said the Lion Dance group is made up of children and adults and their goal is to promote the art of lion dancing and teach important rituals. 

“It comes with a passion. A passion to learn the movement and understand it and from there we try to foster and cultivate more into this is why we do this,” Hoang said. 

Hoang said each movement has a purpose. 

“The lion will shake their head around the person and that's wishing them well,” Hoang said. 

For some runners that blessing is what's needed to help them finish strong.

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