Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hookah Bar - The Place to Socialize

By Hookah Joe

Initially popularized the in the U.S. in the 1960's and 70's, hookah smoking is becoming progressively popular ever since the turn of the century. A hookah bar is a commercial establishment where people come with their friends to enjoy a "hookah". One can readily get hookah bars near universities and colleges and in very populated urban areas.

Quick History

The source of hookah can be traced back to five centuries in what was then referred to as the Subcontinent. Hookah bars are mostly associated with the middle east since it was the origin of hookah and the region from where hookah gained a lot of popularity. Hookah bars gained popularity in the Middle East as the places where customers used to socialize and smoke hookah with other people.

What Does A Hookah Bar Look Like?

In the more cultural places, the lounges tend to appear like their roots more carefully, often managed by people of Arab descent, furnished and embellished with a Middle Eastern or Indian design. At a few bars, nothing is served except hookah. But some multifunctional bars offer snacks, coffee and soft drinks too. A small bar typically does not have a liquor license and therefore they don't serve alcohol. But the large bars which are in very populated areas serve wine, beer and other cocktails. Some hookah bars try to provide a setting like a night club with live bands and DJs while many tend to keep the bar close to the origin of hookah bars with belly dancers performing in the bars.

Some hookah bars are purposely built near university and college campuses to attract the students. The trend has become common as a safer alternative to other kinds of smoking. Also, because college years are generally a time of new experiences, regular social interaction, and building strong connections, the hookah lounge lends itself well to college life. Cities famous for their secondary education institutions, like Washington DC or Raleigh, NYC have noticed a surge in popularity with regards to these lounges.

Let's Talk About a Hookah

Now that you know what a hookah bar is, you may be asking yourself about the device that has managed to spread around the world and spark a smoking revolution. Legend has it the hookah was initially invented in 1588 by a Persian physician in the Indian court. The Indians called the device as a "huqqa", a name which has stayed with it throughout history, although it is referred to as many other names for example "nargile," "shisha," and "hubble-bubble" to name a few.

While the primitive hookah was significantly different, possibly made with coconut shells, the end result has always been the same: purify and cool the smoke by moving it through water before inhalation. A basic hookah has the following four parts:

1. Bowl - to hold the tobacco.

2. Body - the smoke passes from the body and gets to the water basin.

3. Water Basin - keeps the water, where smoke is passed through to be cooled off and purified. Purified smoke stays in the chamber over the water until it is inhaled through the hose.

4. Hose - the smoker inhales the smoke from the chamber over the water using a hose. A hose is often longer than one meter.

The above mechanism provides the smoker soothing and aromatic smoke.

Words of a customer in a hookah bar:

"What you put in the hookah is not important, but who is along with you when you are smoking. It's a whole experience. You can find, good, old, intriguing and all sorts of people in a bar like this. So long as there is a desire for company and friendship, as long as people wish to stop and think, there will be hookah bars."

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