Asian Flush or Asian Glow is a phenomenon many Asians face. Not only does it make drinking in public potentially embarrassing, but it can also makes the drinking experience less enjoyable than for others. From getting red and splotchy, to feeling headaches and nausea, Asian Glow can be quite a nuisance for 36% of East Asians.
The condition is caused by a build up of acetaldehyde due to a lack of enzyme called Aldehyde dehydrogenase, a genetic condition predominant in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese people.
Samantha Lui writes about her experience with Asian Glow, the science behind the condition, and how she’s come to accept and celebrate it as part of her identity: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/docproject/like-a-cooked-tomato-why-drinking-can-feel-isolating-when-you-have-asian-glow-1.5024124
“When I asked him whether he feels proud that he’s passed on his Asian glow to me, he simply said, “But you can save a lot of money!”
And you know what? I will take that as a win.”
What has your experience with Asian Glow been like? Do you have any stories where you’ve felt isolated, embarrassed, or celebrated from Asian Glow?
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