A hookah (from Hindustani: हुक़्क़ा (Devanagari), حقّہ (Nastaleeq), IPA: [ˈɦʊqqaː]), also known as the ḡalyān(Persian: قلیان), is a single- or multi-stemmed instrument for vaporizing and smoking flavored tobacco (often Mu‘assel), or sometimes cannabis or opium, whose vapor or smoke is passed through a water basin—often glass-based—before inhalation.
There are two theories regarding the origin of the hookah. The first is that following the introduction of tobacco to medieval Indiaby the Jesuits, the waterpipe was invented by one of Akbar’s physicians, Abu’l-Fath Gilani, in the Indian city of Fatehpur Sikriduring Mughal India, the hookah spread from India to the Near East, where the mechanism was modified Alternatively, it could originate in the Safavid dynasty of Persia,from where it eventually spread to the east into the Indian subcontinent during that time.
The word hookah is a derivative of “huqqa”, a Hindustani term.Outside its native region, hookah smoking has gained popularity throughout the world, especially among younger people, largely due to immigrants from the Levant, where it is especially popular.
n the Indian subcontinent, the word huqqa is used (Devanagari: हुक़्क़ा, Eastern Nagari: হুক্কা, Nastaleeq: حقّہ); this word is the origin of the English word “hookah”.The widespread use of the Indianword “hookah” in the English language is a result of the colonization in British India (1858–1947), when large numbers of expatriate Britons first sampled the water pipe William Hickey, shortly after arriving in Kolkata, India, in 1775, wrote in his Memoirs:
- The most highly-dressed and splendid hookah was prepared for me. I tried it, but did not like it. As after several trials I still found it disagreeable, I with much gravity requested to know whether it was indispensably necessary that I should become a smoker, which was answered with equal gravity, “Undoubtedly it is, for you might as well be out of the world as out of the fashion. Here everybody uses a hookah, and it is impossible to get on without …[I] have frequently heard men declare they would much rather be deprived of their dinner than their hookah.
Argilah or Argileh (Arabic: أرجيلة,) sometimes pronounced Argilee) is the name most commonly used in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Iraq, while Nargilah(Hebrew: נַרְגִּילָה) is the name most commonly used in Israel. It derives from nārghile (Persian: نارگیل), which in turn comes from the Sanskrit word nārikela (नारिकेल), meaning coconut, suggesting that early hookahs were hewn from coconut shells. In Persian, it is known as qalyān (قلیان).
In Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, na[r]gile (на[р]гиле) is used to refer to the pipe, while šiša (шиша) refers to the tobacco that is smoked in it.The pipes there often have one or two mouth pieces. The flavored tobacco, created by marinating cuts of tobacco in a multitude of flavored molasses, is placed above the water and covered by pierced foil with hot coals placed on top, and the smoke is drawn through cold water to cool and filter it. In Albania, the hookah is called “lula” or “lulava”. In Romania, it is called narghilea.
“Narguile” is the common word in Spain used to refer to the pipe, although “cachimba” is also used, along with “shisha” by Moroccan immigrants in Spain.
Shisha or sheesha (شيشة), from the Persian word shīshe (شیشه), meaning glass, is the common term for the hookah in Egypt, Sudan and countries of the Arab Peninsula (including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Yemen and Saudi Arabia), and in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Somalia. In Yemen, the term mada’a (مداعة) is also used, but for pipes using pure tobacco.
In Persia, hookah is called “Qalyān” (قلیان). Persian qalyan is included in the earliest European compendium on tobacco, the tobacolgia written by Johan Neander and published in Dutch in 1622. It seems that over time water pipes acquired a Persian connotation as in eighteenth-century Egypt the most fashionable pipes were called Karim Khan after the Persian ruler of the day. This is also the name used in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
In Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, a hookah is called chillim.
In Kashmir, hookah is called “Jajeer”.
In Maldives, hookah is called “Guduguda”.
In Switzerland, hookah is called “Shisha”.
In the Philippines, hookah is called “Hitboo” and normally used in smoking flavored marijuana.
The hookah pipe is also known as the “Marra pipe” in the UK, especially in the North East, where it is used for recreational purposes.
In Sindhi, another language of South Asia, it is called Huqqo (حُقو / हुक़्क़ो).
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