Where and when did water pipe smoking originate?
A water pipe, also known as a hookah or shisha, has been around for a very long time. It is, for example, a deep cultural tradition in the Middle East where families from i.e., Turkey, India and Egypt use the hookah in social activities or for relaxation. Nowadays, you also see it popping up more and more in the West, but where and when did hookah smoking originate? We looked it up for you.
First water pipe
The hookah as we know it that you can buy today originated in the 16th century. Specifically in India, where glass production began at that time and tobacco smoking was hugely popular among the upper class. When the hookah was invented, it was also a kind of status symbol at the time which the rich used to show off.
From India the water pipe moved towards the Persian culture where the water pipe got a new look thanks to the beautiful Persian woodworking techniques. Moreover, the water pipe was now accessible to everyone, making it easy to travel to Turkey.
More new developments were added to the water pipe here, giving it a truly regal appearance. Copper designs cast by Turkish blacksmiths with beautiful decorations contributed to the hookah we know today.
Afterwards, the spread of the hookah to Egypt ensured the development of new flavors. The Egyptians also take credit for adding some sort of purification port. This was to make the flavors even stronger. In addition, the hookah integrated so deeply into Egyptian culture that special cafes were built.
The modern hookah
By the end of the 20th century, the hookah was present on every continent. This was due to the many migrants from the East who brought an important piece of their culture with them.
So today, we all know the centuries-old water pipe. And for an even better smoking experience, you can add a hookah filter to it. This allows you to socialize with your friends in a healthier way or to just relax alone and enjoy the different flavors.