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Being Asian in Oklahoma

By Hannah Bingham Edmond, Memorial High School Published: May 1, 2010
Who hasn't eaten "Chinese food" or tasted green tea? Or used a product from Sony? Seen the logo for Hello Kitty?

But how much do you know about Asian culture or about being an Asian-American in the United States?

People of Asian descent make up 3.5 percent of the Oklahoma City population, according to the U.S. Census.

"The best thing about living in Edmond as a Korean is that I know most of the other Asians living here," Memorial senior Gina Moon said.

Moon's parents met when her grandfather was a South Korean diplomat living with his family in the U.S.

"My dad liked my mom so much that after only one date, he proposed to her," Moon said.

Whether students are of Korean descent, from parents who escaped Vietnam during the war, or from China or Japan, they all make a profound impact on the learning environment.

"Korean and Japanese pop music is the hip trend in the Asian community right now," said Memorial senior Linh Nguyen, whose parents came to the U.S. because of the Vietnam War. “It's young and contemporary, and the work behind it involves a lot of the cultural values the Asian community stresses, such as hard work, determination and dedication.”

Aside from music, metro residents can find Asian influence in dining, particularly in northwest Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City has its own Asian district, full of restaurants and supermarkets boasting Asian favorites. "Cao Nguyen Supermarket is my favorite part of Chinatown," Memorial sophomore Christine Nguyen said.

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