In this blog, I could not understand the title: 'Arab Spring to Indian Winter'.

When I tried to find it on the Internet, I found other phrases like Arab Spring to Arab winter and Arab spring to Libyan winter.

What is a significance of this phrase in this blog? Also, the phrase is not included anywhere in the blog.

  • I think Arab spring is the revolutions and demonstrations that happened last years in the Arabic countries. Some presidents and governments have changed due to These demonstrations. – user2824371 Feb 9 '16 at 11:29

The post's full title is Facebook’s fall from grace: Arab Spring to Indian winter.

'Fall from grace' is an idiom (going back to the Old Testament) for a loss of status, respect, or prestige.

The post's title claims that Facebook has experienced such a decrease in prestige, and gives two events that are intended as examples:

The Arab Spring was a series of revolutionary movements in the Arab world. These movements were in many cases facilitated or organized via Facebook and other social media. This is presented as an example of Facebook doing something that brought it great respect and prestige, by being instrumental in these (generally considered positive) changes.

Recently, however, Facebook has again been in the news, as India's government has banned its free internet project. The author is referring to this as an 'Indian Winter', specifically to parallel the construction of 'Arab Spring' They are using the contrast of seasons as a metaphor for Facebook's declining fortunes. In European/US culture, Spring is a season with mostly positive associations (regrowth, warmer weather, etc.) and Winter a season with mostly negative ones (cold, darkness, hunger, etc.)

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    Brilliant answer! +1 for mentioning that the names of the two seasons are 'contrasting'. Though a little note from an Indian - in most of the places in India, summer stays for over 7 months (and is terrible reaching more than 45 degree Celsius) , winter is just for a couple of months. So, for us, Indians, winter is a season with more positive ones! :P – Maulik V Feb 9 '16 at 8:46
  • Thanks for the note. My interpretation is that the author is using season associations more typical of Europe/North America, and I've added a line to that effect. – MrTheWalrus Feb 9 '16 at 14:54
  • Tangential to the 'winter' aspect is its use in the AI winter. In that context it is described as ""It is a chain reaction that begins with pessimism in the AI community, followed by pessimism in the press, followed by a severe cutback in funding, followed by the end of serious research" This matches to an extent Facebook's situation. – user9910 Feb 9 '16 at 17:30

The Arab Spring was a revolutionary movement in the greater Arab world that became powerful enough to topple governments in the Spring of 2011.

The article discusses an on-line political movement among (East) Indians that is starting during this Winter. It seems that the headline writer is calling this movement the "Indian Winter".

"Indian Winter" is a pun on "Indian Summer". "Indian Summer" is a quirk of the climate in the middle of North America, where there is often a cool spell in late summer or early fall, followed by another warm spell. The warm spell is called "Indian Summer". It is followed by much colder weather. (In this paragraph, a "spell" is a period of time with consistent weather, and "Indian" refers to "American Indians".)

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    Hi, Jasper, what's Indian Summer have to do with Indian Winter? I don't think Winter in the context has anything to do with climate or season. As MrTheWalrus explains, it seems more related with the Facebook's recent failure in India and the author is using Winter as a metaphor for Facebook's difficulty. . – user24743 Feb 9 '16 at 7:35
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    @Rathony "Indian Summer" is a common expression in much of the English-speaking world, and generally seen as pleasant. In chiming with the phrase the author is able to succinctly suggest that he's talking about something unpleasant. This gives the metaphor more force, and more of a grounding in existing language rather than just tenuously contrasting it to the Arab Spring. – Jon Hanna Feb 9 '16 at 13:14
  • @JonHanna I understand. Based on the Original Poster's example and link, Winter is contrasted with Spring, not Indian Summer. If it had happened in Russia or Japan for example, It would have been called "Russian Winter" or "Japanese Winter". The "Arab Spring" apparently comes from "The Prague Spring". – user24743 Feb 9 '16 at 13:22
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    @Rathony he's doing both. He's contrasting it with Spring within the title itself, but also contrasting it with Summer in terms of the common expression. – Jon Hanna Feb 9 '16 at 13:27

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