Origin and meaning
Tashi means auspicious and Delek (or Deleg, Deleh) means fine or well. It is difficult and perhaps impossible to translate properly into English. Different authors render it as "Blessings and good luck" or "May all auspicious signs come to this environment".
Tashi delek is traditionally used as part of a larger invocation on Losar. With the Dalai Lama's self-deportation and creation of the Tibetan diaspora, exile authorities promoted the use of "tashi delek" as an all-purpose greeting which could be easily picked up by foreign sponsors. Students of the exile school system are taught that this usage of "tashi delek" has roots in premodern Tibet, and that Chinese Tibetans' exclusive usage of "tashi delek" for New Years' is corrupt. Tour operators have promoted the phrase, along with khata scarves and prayer flags, as essentialized and commodifiable aspects of Tibetan culture, a fact that has caused resentment among some religious Tibetans. "Tashi Delek" is the name of a website that provides information on the nation of Bhutan and promotes Tourism.
The phrase "Tashi delek" is also used in the Chinese language with the Chinese transcription Zhaxi Dele (扎西德勒). There is a song called Zhaxi Dele with lyrics by Rongzhong Erjia (容中尔甲), a Tibetan, and music by Chang Yingzhong (昌英中), a Han Chinese.
The phrase is also used in Bhutan, regions of Nepal, and Sikkim. There is a company in Bhutan called TashiDelek.com and a Hotel Tashi Delek in Gangtok, Sikkim. The inflight magazine of Bhutanese airline Druk Air is called Tashi Delek.
- Language & Literature, Khandro.net, retrieved 2009-05-12
- Oha 2008, pp. 91–92
- Dresser 1999, p. 43
- Jackson 2004, p. 292
- French, Patrick (2009). Tibet, Tibet. Random House Digital. p. 28.
- Frechette, Ann; Schatzberg, Walter (2002). Tibetans in Nepal: The Dynamics of International Assistance Among a Community in Exile. Berghahn Books. pp. 108–109.
- Oakes, Tim; Sutton, Donald (2010). Faiths on Display: Religion, Tourism, and the Chinese State. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 106.
- "西藏百姓互道"扎西德勒"欢度藏历新年", Xinhua News, 2009-02-25, retrieved 2009-05-12
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- Tashi Delek Net
- Dresser, Norine (1999), Multicultural celebrations: today's rules of etiquette for life's special occasions, Three Rivers Press, ISBN 978-0-609-80259-5
- Jackson, David Paul (2004), A saint in Seattle: the life of the Tibetan mystic Dezhung Rinpoche, Wisdom Publications, ISBN 978-0-86171-396-7
- Oha, Obododimma (2008), "Language, Exile, and the Burden of Undecidable Citizenship: Tenzin Tsundue and the Tibetan Experience", in Allatson, Paul; McCormack, Jo, Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities, ISBN 978-90-420-2406-9