The nargile (otherwise known as a shisha pipe) is one of the great social pastimes for people. It's full of rich culture and has an incredibly interesting history. So, next time you're having a nargile in London, here are 3 interesting facts about the nargile to impress your friends with.
It has a number of different names
Nargile is still used widely in countries with an Ottoman influence such as Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Turkey and Bulgaria. Other countries where nargile is used include Romania, Lithuania and Slovakia. A variant of nargile is used in Spain where they prefer the word "narguile" as well as “cachimba”.
Image source: http://www.turkeireiseleiter.com/nargile/
Shisha and hookah are the two most common names, especially in the UK, but travel around and it is known as something completely different. In India and Pakistan, it is known as the huqqa (hookah in English). Heading further west, in countries such as Azerbaijan, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Uzbekistan and Iraq it is known as an "argilah" or "argileh" which derives from the word "nargile".
Other variants across the world are the "chillim" in Afghanistan, the "guduguda" in the Maldives and the "lula" in Albania. Another common name amongst more westernised countries such as South Africa is the "hubbly-bubbly" which is also commonly used by vendors when speaking to tourists.
The world's most expensive shisha pipe are made in Sweden
It might sound a little bit strange, but it's true - the world's most expensive nargile are made in Sweden by a company called Desvall. Now, before you start thinking about buying one as a gift for Christmas, the price starts at €55,000 each. Why is is so expensive? The "Nouveau" model which was released for sale early in 2016 is handcrafted and made of titanium and carbon-fiber. They'd have to be an amazing friend to deserve one of those!
Early nargile pipes were probably made from coconuts
The Persian word "narghile" meaning "coconut" is derived from the Sanskrit word "narikela". This suggests that the early shisha pipes were actually made from coconut shells.
So, there you go. Next time you're sharing a narghile with friends or even just a shisha pipe on your own, you'll be able to imagine what it might taste like being smoked in something worth €55,000 (which let's face it - is probably the same).
Shop for shisha pipes in the UK
You can browse for different shisha products on our easy-to-use website. This includes components such as shisha pipes, hoses, flavours and handy accessories like mouth tips.
The Shisha Shop, 11-13 Fairways Business Park, Lammas Road, E10 7QB London, United Kingdom
TEL: +44 20 8133 3263