By Tatum Vayavananda
I think I speak for everyone when I say that hookahs are really meant to be appreciated and respected. By this I mean all aspects of it; appreciate the concept of hookah: everything from the harmony of the hardware, shisha and science to the cultural, historical and modern influences. I believe that this must be respected and admired, in such a way that one admires fine wine or elegant cuisine. Or am I being too serious?
I was introduced to hookah during my deployment to Iraq in 2006 from my translator. He brought his hookah and shared it with us. His hookah, more rustic and traditional in appearance, along with his shisha, more of a tobacco-like flavor in lieu of blue mist or strawberry margarita, had an aura about it; It helped me to embrace the tradition of the “shisha pipe” for it’s cultural ideals, rather than solely a recreational appeal.
This might be why I’m hesitant to share the hookah with the masses of people at my school albeit the hookah sessions bring my friends and I great memories, company and recreation. But I realized I’ve never taken it out during parties. Usually my Mya Paragon sits on a table in shimmering display, yet if the beer pong table is set up, I put the hookah away.
Along with the dangers of having drunk people stumbling around, tugging on hoses and knocking over hookahs at a party, I’m more afraid that they won’t “get it.” They won’t understand that the shisha, the smoke, the base, the coal and the company is the perfect harmony of earth, wind, water, fire and love that we have grown to respect. To them it’s just another thing they do while they are drunk. I’m afraid kids these days are starting to take hookah for granted…
To us American young adults, hookah has become a new recreational past time. The hookah bars seem to grow more into night clubs, with DJs and black lights and martinis. But to me, I want to preserve that cultural and traditional aspect that has made hookah survive all these years. I want people to dig deeper, to understand the miracle of physics that help to bring beautiful smoke. I want people to sit back and not only think about how much fun it is to smoke hookah, but how amazing that such a concept exist. Or maybe I’m just being waaaay too serious?
Editor’s Note: Very well put Tatum! Have something interesting and hookah-related to say? Email us and if we like it, we’ll post it!