“Goodugooda”- the adorable partner of smokers

goodgooda2“Aiseifaane! Dhunfaganda medela. Koba Kadhefaanemey?

“Aiseifaane, mix a mound for goodugooda. Where is Aamineifaane- and others,” this is a typical call when a visitor enters the household that has a goodugooda or hookah.

Goodugooda was widely used in Fuvahmulah as it was a “partner” of all the smokers in the Maldives- for centuries. Goodugooda’s ability to produce pleasant, non-irritating smoke lead many to use it.

A goodugooda looks somewhat like a lamp base, with the glass vase at the bottom filled with water and the very top, called a “bowl,” filled with tobacco. When the tobacco heats up and the smoker sucks in through a connected hose, the tobacco smoke gets drawn down through a stem and pulled underwater before rising into an opening in the hose until it reaches the smoker’s mouth.hookah

Goodugoodas produce a dense, flavorful smoke by heating moistened tobacco. In goodugooda the tobacco is heated, rather than burned. This was an “adorable” apparatus of Maldivian women. They have a craving for it.  Women gather in groups and share the pleasure of goodugooda.

Preparation for smoking by this method involves making a special mixture – with various ingredients such as scents and even cologne (or the so called “fehi koalaavaataro”). The mound is made and laid on to the clay bowl. And a hookah foil is kept on the clay bowl. Then charcoal is put on the foil. It is then burnt.

Women enjoy the chilling effects as – “ba ba baa” is heard down from the glass vase,  sending the signal of pleasure as they pull the tip of the pipe by deflating their cheeks. They also deflate their cheeks several times to keep the charcoal burning.

This adorable partner is everywhere they go. While playing cards, ovalhu, and having a friendly chat or to fabricate tales,  this adorable partner stays with them. Normally, 4 to 5 people will share the goodgooda. For every single pull of the pipe by the joyous ladies, their “partner” says – hm…BA BA BAAAAA as the thick smoke go off through the water. And their mind is altered for every pull of the pipe when the essence of the smoke flutters their senses.

Hookahs and other countries

Many of the various names of the hookah are of Indian, Turkish, Uzbek, Persian or Arab origin.

“Narghile” is from the Persian word nārgil, or “coconut”, and in Sanksrit nārikera, since the original nargile came from India and was made out of coconut shells.

“Shisha” is from the Persian word shishe, or “glass” (this is the correct literal translation, not bottle).

“Hashishe” is also an Arabic word for grass, which may have been another way of saying tobacco.

Hookah may stem from Arabic uqqa, meaning small box, pot, or jar. Both names refer to the original methods of constructing the smoke/water chamber part of the hookah.

“Narghile” is the name most commonly used in Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Greece and Israel, though the initial “n” is often dropped in Arabic.

“Shisha” is more commonly seen in Egypt. In Iran it is called ghalyoun or ghalyan and in Pakistan it is referred to as huqqa.

The origins of the hookah pipe are argued over by many. The main countries claiming to be the father of the hookah are India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Syria. The likelihood is the pipe in its many forms probably made an appearance in more than one country independently and through ancient trade routes started to take shape into what we now consider a standard form. Most of the worlds pipes today are manufactured in Syria, Egypt and Turkey.


One of the oldest and deep rooted traditions in Turkey is the Nargile (Hookah), with both men and women finding great pleasure in smoking the waterpipe. The nargile started a whole new culture which endured for many, many years. Even today the nargile gives enjoyment to a special breed of smokers. The original hookah came from India, but it was rather primitive as it was made out of coconut shell. Its popularity spread to Iran and then to the rest of the Arab world. But it was in Turkey that the Hookah completed its revolution, and did not change its style for the last few hundred years. The hookah became a very important part of the coffee shop culture, finding its popularity in Turkey around the time of Murad the IV’th, (623-40).

Not all tobaccos qualified for usage in the nargile, and only the dark tobacco imported from Iran found favor with the nargile user. This toabcco was washed several times before use as it was extremely strong. Only oak charcoal was used to be placed on the top of the tobacco. Some professional nargile smokers used certain fruit, like sour cherries or grapes in their govde just to enjoy the motion it created in the water. Other people enjoyed adding pomegranate juice or rose oil to their water for added flavor.

When the water-pipe was brought to Anatolia in the 17th century, Turkish craftsmen found a new way through which they could display their skills. They engraved beautiful designs such as white or colourful flasks which appear as if they were made out of crystallized ice, or more usual designs like fruit or flowers.

The hookah was so popular and fashionable with the elite ladies of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, that it became the in thing to be photographed with a hookah. If you wanted to be the hostess with the mostest the nargile was a must for popular afternoon tea and intellectual gatherings. Unfortunately like most wonderful things from the past, the hookah suffered a decline with the availability of the cigarettes. But still today, one is able to find a special type of smoker that would only find their enjoyment from smoking the hookah.


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