The culture of the hookah lounge is as intimate as a living room with your good friends. It is a laid back, generally relaxed and it expected that you behave respectably and not disturb other patrons with obnoxious or inappropriate behavior.
With respect comes respect, and this process is initiated with the successful mastery of the shisha and social manners in the presence of other masters. When you have mastered the shisha and know fully and demonstrate the social manners associated with it, you may have confidence in enjoying the shisha anywhere in the world and in teaching others so that the proper etiquette is perpetuated.
The hookah experience is not just the pleasure of the smooth, flavorful smoke but a very social activity. It is expected that you greet your fellow smokers especially if eye contact is made. A nod will suffice, but a verbal greeting and handshake is preferred particularly if they are Middle Eastern. Everyone loves to make new friends and the atmosphere of the hookah lounge is a great place to network
- Never light your cigarette from the hookah coals, it''s considered VERY bad manners
- Never use the hookah as an ashtray. Before you light up, look for an ashtray. If you don''t see any, it is usually not ok to smoke cigarettes.
- Use the hookah hose with your RIGHT hand. The left hand is considered unclean in many countries.
- When sharing a hookah and you''re done smoking for the moment, place the hose down on the table for the next person to pick up. Don''t pass it directly. A variant of this is if you must pass, use the RIGHT HAND with the tip facing towards you, not the recipient. Turn the hookah toward the recipient or have the hookah placed in a neutral position to prevent tipping. Sometimes the hose is so long that this isn't an issue, or a rotating hookah may be used