Taga za Yug

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A poster from 1930s, issued by the Struga fraternity in Sofia, containing the text of the poem in older Bulgarian orthography.[1]

Taga za Yug (Bulgarian: Тъга за юг, in English "Longing for the South") is the name of a famous poem of the Bulgarian[2] poet Konstantin Miladinov (originating from Ottoman Macedonia).[3]

Publication history[edit]

Konstantin Miladinov

Konstantin Miladinov wrote the poem in vernacular while living in Russia.[4] He obviously felt nostalgic for Ohrid. It is these dark and dreary feelings that nurture his yearning for the warm sunshine of the South. By exclusively using positive epithets to depict the native soil, the author evokes the painful, unattainable desire to return to his homeland, symbiotically embracing it. Regarding the lyrics, he mentions Stambol that is actually Istanbul, present day Turkey, and Kukush Kilkis, present day Greece. He also mentions Ohrid and Struga, present day Republic of Macedonia. It was published for the first time by Georgi Rakovski in the newspaper "Dunavski lebed" issued in Belgrade in 1860.[5] In the Republic of Macedonia it is viewed as one of the most important Macedonian literary works under the name.[6] The poem is traditionally recited at the opening ceremony of Struga Poetry Evenings, an international festival established in author's honour, featuring the poetry award Miladinov Brothers.

In popular culture[edit]

The T'ga za Jug wine is named after Miladinov's poem. Produced in the Republic of Macedonia, the wine is semi-dry and ruby-red in color. It has been described as being similar in taste to the Italian or Californian Barbera.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Стружко културно-просветно братство "Братя Миладинови" - "Братя Миладинови Димитър 1810 и Константин 1830 - за памет на 75 години от мъченишката им смърт (1862 януарий 1937)"; София, 1937 година.
  2. ^ It would be impossible to write a study of the Bulgarian national movement of the early nineteenth century without mentioning the Macedonians that participated in it. Leading figures, like the brothers Miladinov were born in the area which is now known as the (Former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia. Although Macedonian intellectuals from this period are often claimed as the founders of the Macedonian national movement, I have chosen to include them also in my analysis of the Bulgarian national movement. They declared themselves Bulgarian, and they were active in the Bulgarian public sphere. A clear illustration for this is that the brothers Miladinov included in their collection of folk songs contributions from their native Macedonia as well as contributions from throughout the Bulgarian lands and named their collection Bulgarian Folk Songs. For more see: Sampimon, J. (2006). Becoming Bulgarian: the articulation of Bulgarian identity in the nineteenth century in its international context: an intellectual history, University of Amsterdam, Pegasus, ISBN 9061433118, pp 22-23.
  3. ^ The struggle over the historical legacy of the name “Macedonia” was already under way in the nineteenth century, as the Greeks contested its appropriation by the Slavs. This is reflected in a letter from Konstantin Miladinov, who published Bulgarian folksongs from Macedonia, to Georgi Rakovski, dated 31 January 1861:On my order form I have called Macedonia “Western Bulgaria”, as it should be called, because the Greeks in Vienna are ordering us around like sheep. They want Macedonia to be Greek territory and still do not realize that it cannot be Greek. But what are we to do with the more than two million Bulgarians there? Shall the Bulgarians still be sheep and a few Greeks the shepherds? Those days are gone and the Greeks shall be left with no more than their sweet dream. I believe the songs will be distributed among the Bulgarians, and have therefore set a low price for them. For more see: Spyridon Sfetas, The image of the Greeks in the work of the Bulgarian revolutionary and intellectual Georgi Rakovski. Balkan Studies, [S.l.], v. 42, n. 1, p. 89-107, Jan. 2001. ISSN 2241-1674. Available at: <https://ojs.lib.uom.gr/index.php/BalkanStudies/article/view/3313/3338>. Date accessed: 17 Nov. 2018.
  4. ^ By the end of 1850s Bulgarian writers started to write original lyric poetry in the vernacular. Konstantin Miladinov for instance used a simple language in Zelanie (Desire) to express emotional fluctuations; he conveyed homesickness in “Taga za yug” (Grief for the South) and other moving poems. For more see: Marcel Cornis-Pope, John Neubauer as ed., History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe: Junctures and disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries. Volume III: The making and remaking of literary institutions, John Benjamins Publishing, 2007, ISBN 9027292353, p. 15.
  5. ^ Among the personal contacts of the brothers Dimitar and Konstantin Miladinov with other outstanding figures of Bulgarian National Revival their relations with Georgi Stoykov Rakovski are of special interest. Dimitar Miladinov and Rakovski quickly found a common language in the struggle against the Greek Phanariot clergy. They were engaged in an active correspondence which has now been lost. Rakovski sent Miladinov his works Gorski Patnik (The Forest Traveller) and Pokazalets (Indicator). Two correspondences by D. Miladinov appeared in Rakovski’s newspaper Dunavski Lebed (Danubian Swan). Several letters from Konstantin Miladinov, the younger brother, written in answer to letters from Rakovski, are an evidence of the relations between the two men. Rakovski published in Dunavski Lebed K. Miladinov’s announcement about the forthcoming appearance of the volume of Bulgarian Folk-Songs, the work of the two brothers. Two poems by K. Miladinov were also published in it: Taga za Yug (Sorrow for the South) and Na chuzhbina (Abroad). For more see: Veselin Traykov, Georgi Stoykov Rakovski and the Miladinov Brothers in Journal: Bulgarian folklore, Year: VII/1981, Issue No: 1, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, pp. 14-19.
  6. ^ Forming a part of Macedonia’s literary cultural heritage, the poem “Longing for the South” by K. Miladinov is above all, the cornerstone of contemporary Macedonian poetry, and as such has been verse translated into 60 languages. For more see: Silvana Simoska “Longing for the South” by Konstantin Miladinov viewed from the perspective of the intercultural comparison of verse translations in Informatologia, Vol.41 No.2 Lipanj 2008, str. 140-148.

External links[edit]