Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Indian Summer

Do you think we'll have an Indian summer this year?

Unlikely in Poland but possible.

An Indian summer is hot weather late in the year, like the end of October or even November. Technically, there should have been a frost followed by temperatures higher than 20C.

It is also used as a metaphor to describe a late surprise. An example might be an actor's career that seemed finished when a part in a film late in his life revives his fortunes.

I have to admit, I thought it related to India and hot weather there but my research suggests that it's from North America and concerns Indian raids on settler camps. Apparently, they only raided in the summer so when the weather stayed warm later in the year, it was described as an Indian summer. Well, it's a theory.

I really planned to talk about India today so I'll do so anyway. I've been doing some work on the British Raj lately. (Raj - king or rule - Indian) The period of British occupation which led to Indians using English and playing cricket. In return, we got snooker, polo and pyjamas.

Of course, it's much more serious than that and the Indian summer marking the end of British rule and the bloody partition of India in 1947 was a traumatic, historical time.

Here's an interesting documentary clip.