The Hookah


Allison White

September 20, 2017

RCL 137


Artifact – The hookah

Introduction: Who here has ever smoked the hookah? The hookah has been around since the 15th century and is still making it’s way around the world today. It has gained insane amounts of popularity but also controversy that comes with it. The controversy is part because of the different cultures that are associated with it. The hookah serves different purposes for different people.


Topic 1: origin of the hookah

  • Originated in India
    • Iran next
    • Gained popularity under Ottoman Empire
    • Used only at royal meetings and dinners
    • Tradition and prestige


Transition: You may be asking yourself, how is this artifact civic? Being used only by royalty didn’t allow for the hookah to be a world known civic artifact until it hit America.


Topic 2: coming to America and us “borrowing” things

  • Touch on how we are copy cats
  • Last to adopt the hookah
  • Gained extreme popularity
    • Also controversy
    • Circulating rumors
      • “Worse than drugs”


Transition: Even though there are tons of skeptics in the US, the hookah was conceptualized as a tolerable thing while still maintaining it’s ideologies in its origin countries.


Topic 4: it’s obvious use vs it’s common places

  • Obvious use – nicotine buzz
    • Cooling system to ensure a smooth and calming inhale
    • Cigarette habits ending – people see cigarettes as a bad habit meanwhile a hookah is much less hated on
  • Different common places for different cultures
    • America – pastime and the social aspect we all truly desire
      • Going out w friends and socializing for hours at a time
      • The circular orientation of hookah lounges allowing for a conversational aspect
      • Comforting and inviting surroundings
    • Middle East – family gathering
      • Smoke at dinner or after
        • Bonding


Conclusion: Hookah has been part of many cultures but doesn’t share all the same ideologies in each one except giving people a commonplace that they feel comfortable in.

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