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What Precisely is a Hookah?

The hookah has a protracted and storied historical past. Additionally identified variously as a hubble-bubble, narghile, shisha, or water pipe, amongst different names, hookahs have been used for a mellow tobacco smoking expertise in Asia and the Center East for hundreds of years. Coming to the Center East from India, the hookah began out as a humble coconut shell. In Turkey, it developed into the true hookah, changing into a mainstay of espresso home life through the 17th century. Hookah smoking continues to be quite common in cafes and eating places all through the Center East.

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Many rituals, of preparation, lighting, and smoking etiquette, encompass the usage of the hookah. Folks gathered within the espresso homes to smoke collectively, exchanging information and stories–or merely sharing quiet, meditative time. Recalling a extra relaxed and unhurried previous, hookahs conjure tales of journeys alongside the Nile, lengthy nights in exotically scented gardens, the spice of the bazaar, and the sinuous music of the stomach dance.

Hookahs had been smoked by ladies gathered for tea, by college students partaking in mental dialogue, males enjoying video games of probability, and easy gatherings of buddies for enjoyment and leisure. Providing a visitor a puff on the home hookah, or narghile, was an indication of welcome and hospitality. Reasonably than a behavior of nervousness, as many would possibly classify the cigarette, the hookah is an entry to tranquility and reflection. It’s a connection to the previous and an oasis of civilized fellowship within the frenetic current.

With such a protracted historical past, it is not stunning that the craftsmanship in a hookah approaches the extent of artwork; most hookahs are exquisitely detailed and delightful. At one time, every a part of the hookah was produced by a craftsman particularly educated to supply simply that piece. Supplies used included silver, crystal, and amber. Once you add within the centuries of custom and ritual by which the hookah is steeped, it is easy to see that this historic water pipe represents the nexus of a singular and luxuriant expertise in smoke and social interaction–and why it is changing into so widespread within the West.

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