Hookah has been a tradition in a variety of culxctures xommunity, it has changed A LOT. The community’s entire existence was on forums in the beginning and now, it is solely on Facebook in the form of various private groups. The total shift in the enthusiast community and integration into our social media lives is revealing that it's more of a lifestyle than ever before. Besides the fact that this helps current enthusiasts connect and share their hobby, it's now significantly easier to bring new people into the community so that they can learn and improve their hookah experience.
So much has changed in this space. For years, hookah was just an afterthought at larger tobacco related events like TPE in Las Vegas and Miami. Now we have Hookah Expo Worldwide, an event dedicated entirely to hookah which has been planned each year since 2017. We have also graduated from the days of online chat rooms and now have organized meetups happening all over the country. It has been really great to see our community grow! Team MoHo at HEW3 in Las Vegas
Hookah lounges are one of the classic places for smokers to socialize. Your experience in a lounge can vary wildly depending on location. I have spent time in some of the best lounges in places like California and Nevada. However, where I live in Philadelphia it is nearly impossible to find a lounge that uses natural coconut coals, let alone provide a decent smoking experience. I’m sure this is the case in many places around the US as well. I find this to be a huge bottleneck in the growth of our hobby. Most people will try hookah for the first time in a lounge and if their experience isn’t pleasant, they will not want to try it again. What about you? How is the lounge experience where you live?
The introduction of international hookah culture to the US has shown us that while our community is growing and expanding, we still have a long way to go. There are places all over Eurasia that are miles ahead of us. Especially Russia where they have full scale expos, festivals, and competitions centered around hookah and their lounges could be mistaken for high end bars and clubs. As a result of this culture, their industry is thriving with a saturated market of products available at all price points. Seeing the way hookah operates there gives us something to aspire to here as we grow. Tangiers Lounge in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Personal hookah traditions
Every enthusiast has their own preferences and ways of enjoying their hobby. HMD or foil? Blonde leaf or dark leaf? Diffuser or no diffuser? These are the nuances of our hobby that keep it fresh, fun and personalized to our own preferred experience. I have taken a liking to using chopsticks to pack my bowls (try it before you knock me for that!). I prefer to smoke blonde leaf most of the time with foil SHINY SIDE DOWN. Flats are my coal of choice since they give more versatility in heat by standing them up or laying them down. I also prefer one round of coals than to try to push the bowl to multiple rounds of coals. Most importantly, my favorite personal hookah tradition is smoking with my sister. It is something we have enjoyed for years together and have spent a countless number of hours relaxing and hanging out with a hookah as the focal point. We’ve even grown a business in the industry together! Tell us about your experience with modern hookah culture & tradition in the comments!!