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Drinking habits and patterns among urban Nepalese

We had conducted an online survey to find out drinking habits and patterns among urban Nepalese and this post is based on the survey result, which may or may not speak the truth but nonetheless can give a broader perspective.

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Doko Deli Restaurant, Jhamsikhel

With the festive season around the corner, for sure many urban Nepalese have already their plan and expectation set, in which boozing definitely has its slot. Alcohol consumption in Nepal has its own cultural and historical roots in Nepal, which has further been extended to every ethnic group and individual that now alcoholic beverages are part of almost every family gathering, festival, party, outing, and vacation. However, very less study has happened on drinking habits and patterns among Nepalese people.  So, we thought we would do an online survey to find out how is it among urban Nepalese.

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For that, we had asked KMAG followers and other social media users – who do drink alcoholic beverages, to participate in the survey with the list of questions framed to find out drinking habits and patterns.  The audience represents urban Nepalese, mostly youth, liberal, and open-minded by sociopolitical orientation.  In total, we had 187 participants – 40 female and 147 male.  The following were the findings:

Most people have their first drinking experience at age 15-18

When asked “at what age, did you try drinking alcoholic beverages for the first time?,” 33.7% said at the age of 15-18, 28.3% said at the age of 18-20, 20.9% had at the age 12-15, and 16.6% at 20-25. By this, it seems like most people have their first drinking experience some time in between class 9 to class 12. And those who somehow managed to be “good boy/Good girl” till 12, got their first taste in bachelor or end of class 12. Concerning part however is, almost 20.9% had their first drink sometime between age 12 to 15 and that is like somewhere between class 6 to 9.

Most people start from beers

54.5% of respondents stated that their first drink was beer, 13.4% had wine, 11.2% had whiskey and 8.6% had vodka. Also, nearly 10% of respondents had home-made alcohol as their first drink but they were mostly from the community which has its cultural and historical roots to drinks.

Most people who have their first drink at the age bracket of 12-15 have done so with family/relative

We had asked with whom they had their first drink, options being friend, somebody from family/relative, sibling/cousin, random stranger, and alone. Though 55.6% of total respondents said with friend, going by age 39.2% from 12-15 had done so with someone from family/relative and only 10.2% with friends, which means most of the people who had their first drink had most probably done so under because someone from the family/relative asked them to have it. It makes sense because in many house parties and gatherings, some parents or relatives like “uncle/mama” ask the minors to try out drinking by offering them a glass of beer or wine to “taste.”

Most urban Nepalese drink once in a month or two

Half of the alcohol users drink at least once a month however, breaking it down further, most urban Nepalese drink once a month or once in 2-3 months, possibly only in special moments like birthdays or festivals. 26.2% of respondents claim to drink once in 2-3 months, 19.3% said twice or thrice a month, 17.1% said once in a blue moon, like once or twice a year, 12.3% said once a month, 11.2% said once a week, 9.6% said twice or thrice a week, and 4.3% said almost daily. Not sure if it is a cost factor or social structure or something else, but seems like the drinking pattern is not as scary as it is assumed.

Beer is the most preferred drinks

80.7% of the respondents said beer is their preferred drinking, 39.6% said whiskey, 35.8% said wine, and 17.1% said vodka. By this, we can tell how popular beer must be among these urban Nepalese.

Most of these booze lovers however don’t like home-made alcohol (local rakshi)

This is something interesting we found through the survey. Despite their love and craze for alcoholic beverages, 43.9% said they don’t like homemade alcohol. Only 29.9% said they do; 26.2% are unsure about “maybe.” With that, we can tell despite Nepal having a good market base for alcoholic beverages, locally produced or brewed alcohol are yet to win the confidence.

3 in 10 booze lovers are “first one” in family to love drinking

Most booze lovers in their 20s/30s have someone in the family to drink already, mostly being a father (50.3%) and sibling (49.2%), there are around 27.9% “first timer in family,” which means none of their parents or siblings do consume alcohol and they are first one in the family to catch the drinking culture.

Most houses now allow drinking at home

This is quite an interesting socio-cultural shift in Nepalese society, that now 45.2% of houses allow drinking at home without any terms and conditions, and 25.9% allow it under certain circumstances. However, 28.9% of houses still don’t allow drinks at home.

Most of them are against the idea of heavy tax on alcohol

Drinking being one of the heavily taxed consumer products in Nepal, we had asked if they support heavy tax on alcohol, to make it more expensive and not easily accessible for all, most of them said NO (59.9%) with only 21.8% saying yes and 18.3% being unsure.

Most of these guys think they are calm and quiet under the influence of drinking

Contrary to popular belief that people after drinking tend to be more talkative and aggressive or carefree, 45.2% think they are calm and quiet while under the influence of alcohol, 39.1% think they become more talkative and 29.4% think they become more carefree. Some of them tend to fall under every type depending on the circumstances. Is it because they don’t want to act out and look drunk and turn off others? Maybe.

Hangover is what they hate the most about drinking

What most people don’t like about drinking is the hangover the next day. Not surprising. This is something everyone who drinks can relate to. 20.3% said being vulnerable is what they don’t like about being drunk.

Most of them drink because it adds fun to the moment

When asked why do they drink, most of them said because drinking adds fun to the moment. From this question, we wanted to know what percentage do drink to forget their hardship and stress in life, glad that only 14.2% drinks for that purpose. We had also asked what’s their excuse for drinking, the options being: 1. Because it’s weekend. 2. Because friends are in mood to drink. 3. Because in bad mood and want to feel better. 3. Because it’s holiday/vacation. 4. Because it’s party time/special moment. 5. No as such excuse. 32% had said they drink when they feel like and need no excuse. 28.9% said they drink because of party or special moment. Only 9.6% drinks giving the excuse of weekend and 13.7% because “friends were drinking.”

Conclusion

So far, based on this survey, Nepalese urban crowd who love drinking, are in the spectrum of “responsible drinker,” who are mostly a moderate drinker (54.8%) or a glass or two drinker (23.4%). However, the drinking pattern of 1 in 4 still falls under “drink till fully drunk or blackout,” and these guys need some awareness in terms of being responsible drinker.

Thanks to all the participants who took up the survey and help us get a broader perspective on the topic. To those who had missed the survey, you can still participate HERE

Since you are here, also read the similar Survey-Based Post on:

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Knowledge & Infos

What’s Special Today: November 10

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Chhath:

Historically native to the Indian states of Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and the southern part of Nepal, Chhath is one of those festivals that transcends the caste system that exists in the society. According to the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated on the sixth day of the lunar month of Kartik. The Chhath Puja is a 4-day long ritual specially offered to the solar deity, Surya, to show thankfulness for good health, good life and to request the granting of some certain wishes.

Day 1: On the first day, the devotees after bathing clean their house and eat the food that is offered to the god to protect the mind from the vengeful tendency.

Day 2: On the second day, the devotees are not allowed to drink even a single drop of water but, in the evening, they eat kheer made up of jaggery, fruits.

Day 3: The evening of the third day which is also known as sandhya ‘arghya’ day where a bamboo basket is decorated with various puja materials, fruits, thekuwa, and laddus which are offered as an ‘argya’ to the Sun. Also, the Chhathi Maiya is worshipped.

Day 4: On the last day of Chhath puja again an arghya is offered to the Sun God but this time in the morning. The devotees go to the riverbank to offer arghya to the rising sun and break their fast and conclude their four-day long worship.

Happy Chhath to everyone! Don’t forget to enjoy some thekuwas!!

World Keratoconus Day:

Every year on November 10, World Keratoconus Day is celebrated to focus global attention on keratoconus and ectatic corneal disorders. The day was first celebrated by National Keratoconus Foundation.

Keratoconus is a disease that causes the cornea to become weak, leading to the thinning and stretching of the cornea, which may result in the loss of vision. Keratoconus is degeneration of the structure of the cornea. The shape of the cornea slowly changes from the normal round shape to a cone shape which affects the vision. The keratoconus mainly develops in teenagers and young adults and the disease keeps on growing, if not diagnosed in time.  

The disease has no prevention and no treatment. With early diagnosis, the disease can be managed and further damage can be protected. In Nepal, the prevalence of Keratoconus is 1 in 2000 according to the recent journal. So, this world keratoconus day, make a commitment to visit an eye doctor once a year for the early diagnosis of keratoconus as well as other eye diseases.

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Knowledge & Infos

Best and Worst Bank in Nepal as per our survey

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We had conducted an online survey to find out how banking services in Nepal are being used and perceived by their users. This article is entirely based on those responses. Thank you Muktinath Bikash Bank for supporting us in conducting this survey.  

Over the years, Banks have become an integral part of our daily life and economy. With the shift to digitalization and modernization of the economy, banks have definitely made life easier for people to manage their cash and transactions. With these shifts and increasing dependency on banks more than ever, the use of banking services and users’ banking experience is one of the topics with the minimal amount of research done. Out of curiosity, we conducted an online survey to find out how people have been feeling about the banking services provided by the respective banks.

About Respondents

Respondents were mostly urban educated youth with access to the internet, in the age bracket of 18-40, mostly being from 22-26 age group. The data was collected through social media users, primarily from page followers of KMAG. In total, we got 219 responses out of which 160 were males and 59 were females. 

In the list of questionnaires, one of the questions was “which is your favorite bank from Nepal as per your own experience,” and another being “which bank do you think is the worst.” Among 219, 27 respondents were undecided and 192 casted their votes for “best” and the “worst.” To build the conclusion on more strong foundation, we wanted to make sure respondents voice their opinion per their experience for which we had also asked them to reveal their primary bank.

Out of the total participants, a majority of 89.6% have multiple bank accounts though 19.5% of them just use one of those accounts. The remaining 10.4% claimed to have an only bank account. Out of all those banks, Nabil Bank is the primary bank for 36 participants (which was the highest no. of primary account holders in a particular bank). After Nabil, most of them were primary users of NIC Asia, Global IME, and Siddhartha Bank.

Nabil is voted as “Favorite Bank”

Nabil Bank seems to be the most favorite and popular among the respondents. With a total of 45 votes, it was voted the “most liked” bank. Among them, 29 were the primary account holders of the bank. Under “least liked,” it only got 4 votes.

To briefly talk about Nabil Bank, Nabil Bank is an ‘A’ class commercial bank which was founded in 1984 A.D. (2041 B.S.). It was established as Nepal’s first private sector bank incepted by multinational investors with the objective of providing modern, international-standard financial services. It was first established as Nepal Arab Bank Limited. In 1995, Dubai-government owned the majority of shares was bought by Binod Chaudhary.

NIC Asia is “least favourite”

With 76 votes for “worst bank,” NIC Asia seems like the “least liked” bank from Nepal as per the responses. Interestingly though, it has also been voted as “favorite bank” by 17 respondents.

After NIC Asia, Nepal Investment Bank seems like the second “least favorite” bank from Nepal with 23 votes against the bank.

On being asked the reason for disliking the bank, most of the participants seem to agree on the same point and that is “terrible” customer service of the bank. Similarly, other reasons were bad internet/mobile banking facilities, fraud-like business practices, and lack of important banking services/products being provided by the. Not to forget few were unhappy about the lack of branch/ATM services.

The detailed data are presented in the table below:

BanksPrimary AccountLikedDisliked
Nabil Bank36454
Global IME Bank251710
NIC Asia Bank291776
Siddhartha Bank16147
Sanima Bank13112
Laxmi Bank12101
Mega Bank10102
Standard Chartered Bank982
NMB Bank677
Bank of Kathmandu561
Machhapuchchhre Bank765
Himalayan Bank759
Sunrise Bank752
Muktinath Bikash Bank442
Century Commercial Bank330
Civil Bank433
Everest bank2310
Kamana Sewa Bikas Bank 131
Prabhu Bank Limited838
Rastriya Banijya Bank339
Agriculture Development Bank222
Citizens Bank 521
Kumari Bank321
Nepal Bangladesh Bank222
Nepal Bank325
Nepal Investment Bank15223
Garima Bikash Bank210
Nepal SBI Bank 2111
NCC Bank112
Prime Commercial Bank712
Manakamana Development Bank001
Shangri-la Development Bank100

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Knowledge & Infos

How to design a survey questionnaire

This article was originally designed for KMAG Online Writing Workshop and made available to public for knowledge-sharing purpose.

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A survey is a list of questions aimed at extracting specific data from a particular group of people so that the surveyor can gain knowledge and insights into various topics of interest and then mostly generalize the result. How to design a survey questionnaire completely depends upon the purpose behind the survey. Depending on the purpose, questions are framed.

Let’s understand this way, surveyor seeks to know anything based on either of the following grounds:

  1. They don’t know anything, they are curious to find out, and they seek for answers. Example: I don’t know many people smoke and I want to find out by asking everyone out there.
  2. They think they know but they are not sure and they want to find out if what they think they know is actually true or false. Example: I think 50% of Nepalese do smoke but I am not sure yet and I want to validate my assumption by surveying.
  3. They strongly believe that what they know is the facts and now they want to interpret the world based on the “facts” they live by. Example: I strongly believe that smoking is bad and raising tax and making it expensive is the way to discourage people to smoke. I want to survey to find out how many Nepalese believe the same and agree with raising taxes and making it expensive would discouarge people to smoke.

Whatever grounds you are holding, you must frame your questionnaire according to that. So before working on the questionnaire ask yourself if you are trying to know the unknown or are you trying to validate or crosscheck what you think you know or you are trying to pass judgment or views based on your preset theory/hypothesis that your understanding is based upon.

This is how it goes:

You already have a theory and you want to analyze people based on the theory.

Let’s take for example “Job satisfaction Survey.” In this case, as per your theory/hypothesis, to be called “satisfied” one must be displaying so and so traits and views; if not, the person is not satisfied in his/her job. Based on that, you will be designing a questionnaire and see how many people meet the criteria to pass your judgment. If your theory says, highly satisfied people have flexible working hours, one of your questions will be something like “Can you come to your office at whatever time you want and can leave per your own wish as long as you are doing what you are paid for? Yes/No/Depends.” Likewise, there will be other questions set in a fashion to funnel your judgment regarding what percentage of people are satisfied with their job and work.

You have a theory or hypothesis that you want to validate or crosscheck

In this case, you have an assumption but you are not sure of and you want to crosscheck or validate by testing it on people. For example let’s say you think “Most arranged marriage people are unhappy,” and you want to validate your claim or crosscheck the truth in it by surveying among arranged marriage couples. Your questions will be something like “If you have to rate your marriage in terms of joy and happiness in it, how much will you rate on a 1 to 10 scale?” followed by questions like “if you have a time machine, would you go back right before the marriage and take your time to find out someone to have a love marriage? Yes/No/Maybe”

You don’t have any theory or hypothesis and you are only to find out unseen/unknown reality

In this case, you don’t have any preconceived thoughts or assumptions and you are plainly trying to learn or find out in an open-minded fashion.  Like for example, You don’t know how many educated youth from Nepal actually do smoke, nor you know why they smoke despite its negative effect and you are set out to find out the answer by surveying. In such surveys, your questions will be like “do you smoke? Yes/No. “If you smoke, how many cigarettes do you smoke per day?” “despite its negative effect, why do you still smoke?”etc.

Sometimes, you can have a mixed approach, wherein the topic of your interest that you are surveying on, part of it is something you strongly believe being fact, part of it is something you are unsure about, and part of it is something you don’t know a thing about and you are willing to learn.  Like for example, you strongly believe happy couples display so and so traits, and you think couples from love marriages are happier but you are not sure of, and you don’t know at all if personal happiness is valued more in marriage or responsibilities and social factors in the context of Nepal. So part of your questionnaires will be driven by your theory that you consider as being fact, part of it will be intended to cross-verify your assumption, and part of it will be purely seeking truth as it is without any deliberate attempt to frame your assumption.

Bottom line, you should know your ground, the purpose of surveying, what you intend to do afterward, based on which you should be working on your questionnaires.  Your questionnaires will be designed according to your intention, so there is no hard and fast rule but make sure, in the end, you gather all the relevant information so put together to build a conclusion and for that, you need to think about what all needs to be asked to fill up the blocks and connect the dots.

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