Mr Kelzang Tashi

Mr Kelzang Tashi

Position: PhD Candidate in Anthropology
School and/or Centres: School of Archaeology and Anthropology


Thesis title: Contested past, challenging future: Bon tradition in contemporary Bhutan


Before the coming of Buddhism to Bhutan in the seventh century AD, Bon was the only prevalent religious practice and it continues to survive down to the present day. This is surprising because Bon religious practice has been looked down on by Buddhism because it has involved the sacrifice of animals which is antithetical to core Buddhist values. Despite many centuries of censure, including ongoing censure today, Bon beliefs and practices continue to play a role in the lives of rural people through a celebration of festivals and rituals, and everyday engagement in Bon worship and practices. 

This project will investigate the reasons for the persistence of Bon beliefs and practices. It will examine the ways in which Bon is embedded in rural social life, politics, economy, ecology, and ideas about health. A particular attention will be given to an annual Bon festival known as Roop to explore the religious syncretism, transformations, complexities, and hybridisations.

Social and cultural transformation, religion, modernisation, indigenous and folk practices, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, kinship and personhood, tribal societies, education, oral tradition.

Refereed publications:

2016: Pollution and social order: social construction of meaning and cultural metaphor (forthcoming)

2016: Democratisation or Modernisation: Which came first in Bhutan? (forth coming)

Tashi, K. (2015). A quantitative analysis of distributed leadership in practice: Teachers’ perception of their engagement in four dimensions of distributed leadership in Bhutanese schools. Asia Pacific Education Review, 16(3), 353-366.

Tashi, K. (2014). Occupational stress among Bhutanese teachers. Asian journal of management sciences & education, 3(2), 71-79.

Tashi, K. (2013). Exploring the distributed leadership practice of school leaders in Bhutanese Schools: A pilot study. International Journal of Education and Research, 1(9), 165-173.

Book Chapters:

2016: Teacher Education in Bhutan International Handbook on Teacher Education, second edition (forth coming)

Internationally competitive Scholarships and Grants:

2016-Present: Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, Australia.

2011-2014: Global Korean Government Scholarship, South Korea.



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