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If you’ve ever tried Hookah in Australia, you’ll know that this activity is about far more than just puffing flavoured tobacco from a water pipe. The history and culture behind the hookah go back to generations among Indian, Persian, Turkish, Egyptian, and other Middle Eastern peoples.
More than just a social activity or means to unwind, the art of hookah—also called shisha—is a way for people to connect, strengthen bonds, and pay homage to traditions. Today, we’ll discuss the history of hookah and how this traditional form of smoking was introduced to Australian culture.
In the 16th century, people started to smoke tobacco in water pipes when Indian glass manufacturers invented glass hookah pipes. The invention gradually made its way over to the Middle Eastern countries in the 17th and 18th century, wherein craftsmen redesigned the look of the pipes through intricate woodworking.
The use of hookah continued to grow through means of more innovation and blacksmiths began casting intricate brass designs and adorned them with religious markings. In Turkey, the hookah pipe became a true status symbol, which families smoked after royal dinners and diplomatic meetings.
The use of hookah spread throughout Egypt during the 19th century. Their version, called Mu’Assel, involved mixing honey or molasses with tobacco. It quickly grew in popularity so much so that many people from different classes, age, races, and gender started to unify.
It was in the early 18th century that Indonesian fishermen introduced and taught indigenous Australians how to smoke tobacco. When the British colonised Australia, tobacco smoking became more widespread, and tobacco became an essential commodity. It was in the early 19th century that tobacco smoking grew. Up to 90% of male workers in Australia smoked these handmade cigarettes.
It was in the late 1950s that the hookah was first introduced to Australians. When Middle Easterners immigrated to Australia, shisha molasses made their way to the country too. Using the hookah was initially limited to family and social gatherings, but it wasn’t long before hookah cafes and lounges were established to cater to a wider audience, in hopes of bringing people from different cultures together.
Today, the use of a hookah pipe in Australia has become more widespread and conventional in modern societies. Numerous restaurants, bars, cafes, and shisha lounges offer hookah pipes and different shisha flavours for many to gather and enjoy.
As you gain a deeper appreciation for this traditional pastime and its social and cultural significance, the more you can enjoy doing it with your close-knit circle of friends, or even guests! Enjoy social gatherings with Hookah while in the comfort of your own home.
We offer a wide selection of shisha flavours and hookah pipes! From fruity flavours such as cherries, tangerines, and peaches, to unique flavours such as mint, pumpkin, and masala, we have them all! Buy Shisha flavours today!