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Event photography of the annual Charlotte Asian Festival and Dragon Boat Festival Race, held May 5, 2012 on Lake Norman. Dragon boat racing is an important Chinese tradition. The event originated more than 2,300 years ago on the rivers of southern China. The two festivals celebrate Asian cultures, diversity, ethnicity, roots and history. According to the Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce, fewer than 200 Asians and only eight Asian businesses were in Charlotte in the 1960s. Today, according to the Chamber, the Asian-American population in greater Charlotte has grown to around 70,000, representing more than 15 countries of origin, and hundreds of businesses.