During the long history of waterpipes, which ranges over different areas of the earth, a smoking culture with hard rules has emerged. Many smokers do not follow these rules, but still they are interesting to know - simply because they are traditional.
In the golden age of hookahs it was possible to become barred from the society for not obeying these rules. Maybe everybody should start following these rules again, to experience an even more relaxed hookah party.
1. You should, if possible, smoke in good company. Smoking on your own is not prohibited, though, but originally smoking hookah is a social event and a symbol for hospitality.
2. The hookah should be positioned on the floor. Putting the waterpipe on the ground is a tradition, that has emerged slowly. You will rarely find a hookah on a table in Arabia or Egypt.
3. It is not allowed to pose the own hookah on a higher place then the hookahs of others. This would be interpreted as disrespect and would lead to an uncomfortable atmosphere.
4. You shouldn't smoke a cigarette while sitting in hookah round. This on one hand tampers with the taste and smell of the hookah, and on the other hand gives you the appearance of being unpatient.
5. The conversation should be calm. Talking loudly and gesturing hecticly would disturb everyones rest and spoil the comfortable atmosphere.
6. The hose must not be passed on to the next smoker in the round, but it should be put on the table or hung to the waterpipe, so the next one can take it anytime he wants, and wouldn't feel like being set under pressure to smoke.
This text is a free translated extract from the book "Die Wsserpfeife - Tradition und Kúgendkultur" ("The Waterpipe - Tradition and Youth Culture") by Felix B.