Shisha: Tracing its roots

Small Hookah

A shisha is an oriental water pipe used to smoke flavoured tobacco. You would expect that with modernisation and old age of the item, it should be called “water pipe” but
surprisingly, it is still popularly known and called “Shisha”.

The word “Shisha” comes from the Persian word Shisheh meaning glass. Alternative names for Shisha are; Hookah, Shesha, Huka, Nargila and Hubby Bubbly (possibly known from the sound of shisha smoking). Also known as Narghila in classical Arabic and Argileh in spoken Arabic (Syrian, Palestinian, Lebanese and Jordanian accents)

Shisha, through the use of coconut, initially materialised in a traditional form in India. In fact, the first water-pipe tobacco was smoked through a coconut with a bamboo system. After being highly embraced by fellow Indians, it spread to the neighbouring countries such as Iran to Arab countries and then to Turkey. This pipe goes back to the 16th century.

However, Turkish people were first to develop the shape of what is called today Shisha and wasn’t too different from the current shape. The shape invention lasted for many centuries in the local countries. After having acclimatised themselves to the growing pipe, the Egyptians came up with the current shape of what we now see in our streets. They also developed the tobacco which is used alongside the shisha. Without much introduction, Shisha spread to Arab countries and the rest of the world in several ways. Now, Shisha is no new thing as we can find them everywhere worldwide even in Europe and the United
States.

Thanks to Turkey, Shisha was introduced into the Western world in the 20th century. It did not receive a warm reception in its early years but with time, the people of the UK, Germany and the United States gradually welcomed it as a ‘fashion piece’.

Shisha lovers in the origin countries still smoke the unflavoured and natural tobacco but those in the Western world have introduced several fruit flavours such as apple and cherry which enhances excitement and ‘swag’.

It is now widely used as a means of living reason why we have so many cafes, lounges and restaurants were shisha is served for lovers like you to have a great time after a long day at work. It is also sold as a pipe and majority of people and families own their personal shisha at home. It is popular among young people and is a way of showing hospitality and friendship. As a matter of fact, going out for a shisha can be seen as going out on a ‘date’ and could get you your dream partner. Check out several shisha Cafes around London, Leicester and Luton on our site.

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