Do you remember the moment when you first walked into your local hookah bar? Maybe you were puzzled by the new experience. You may have asked yourself: what is that delicious fruity scent in the air? How are people making smoke rings? Or maybe you finally felt at home, reminded of the ambiance of restaurants in your town, or your father’s chuckle every time he sat down with your mother to smoke an argeeleh. Small, priceless memories. If you are here, then that moment certainly left an impression on you. You went back to the hookah bar, again and again, to hang out with your friends and create memories, learning about a new culture or reminiscing about your own.
Everyone who smokes a shisha has a unique story about when it all began, why, where, and with whom. The true connoisseur understands that shisha smoking is all about community, and the sharing of thoughts and experiences. Around a shisha, we reflect on life, engage in political debate, discuss the latest in sports, and share our hobbies. Above all, it is about friendship.
Friendship, like hookah, is a tale as old as time. Hookahs have been foundational to the social fabric of many cultures. From 15th century India, to the modern day hookah bar you will find nestled in street corners all over the world, it is a living tradition unlike any other. Today, you don’t have to be from a specific place or speak a particular language to experience the tradition of the shisha pipe. Shisha has created one of the few spaces in our world where everybody is truly an equal. Around the hookah pipe, whether on the sand dunes of Abu Dhabi or inside a warm restaurant on a cold Montreal winter night, we are all friends.
The hookah tradition has evolved across the centuries. New designs and molasses recipes are constantly being added to the marketplace, although the mechanism used is still the trusted centuries old tobacco filtration process, and the magic still happens in the water. Originally, the tobacco smoked in a hookah was made from natural leaves called “ajami,” with no added flavouring. Some traditionalists still smoke ajami today. It was only in the early 90s that the modern flavoured hookah was introduced, with an all-new recipe of tobacco, molasses, glycerin and fruit essence. Today, you can find any imaginable flavor of shisha molasses, from the standard lemon mint to the signature cappuccino or hot chocolate. Even more recently, herbal varieties have been made available, allowing you to experience your favourite aromas and flavours without consuming any nicotine. Here, at My Hookah Canada, we expect this tradition to continue evolving, and we want to invite you along for the ride.
Next time you walk into a hookah bar, or make your own shisha at home, remember that you are part-taking in something special. In your hand, you hold the key to an incredible history, and you can tap into moments shared across the world, filled with laughter and storytelling. You are one of many of us, and we are all in this together.