South Surrey artist Dunia Tozy released her Joy Around the World colouring book this week. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey artist Dunia Tozy released her Joy Around the World colouring book this week. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey artist aims to spread joy through multi-language colouring book

Dunia Tozy says she wanted to ‘bridge the gap between cultures’

A South Surrey artist has created a colouring book aimed at helping to relieve pandemic-related stress and that of “our fast-paced lives.”

Dunia Tozy said the book, for her, was a way to combine her love of culture and art while creating a tool “which could bring joy to people and, in turn, possibly help their mental health and emotional health.”

Titled Joy Around the World, the book includes illustrations of the word ‘Joy’ in 15 languages, in addition to how to pronounce each word and its meaning, a news release explains.

It is part of a series of books that the Iraqi-Canadian artist plans to publish in the next few months with the same theme, “to show that even though we may speak differently, there is more to connect us than separate us as humans,” the release continues.

READ ALSO: SFU students create colouring book to help refugees learn about Surrey

Tozy describes herself as an artist, photographer, filmmaker and mom of two who loves culture and languages.

“These are difficult times for everyone, but especially for people of colour and immigrants struggling with fitting in,” she said.

“I was raised in Baghdad, Iraq and when my parents immigrated to Canada over 20 years ago it did feel very lonely and isolating, so I wanted to create something to bridge the gap between cultures and have people from all backgrounds find something they could relate to, whether they speak one of the languages in the book, or have a friend, a co-worker, or a neighbour that does.”

Tozy said she relied on many of her friends who speak other languages to verify each word, and she loves that it has turned into a global project. Languages included in the colouring book are Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malagasy, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Tagalog.

She hopes to release her next book in the coming months and is inviting anyone who would like their language included to connect with her.

For more information, visit www.duniatozy.ca

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