Konstantin Miladinov wrote the poem in vernacular while living in Russia. He obviously felt nostalgic for his native 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 North Macedonia. It was published for the first time by Bulgarian National Revival activist Georgi Rakovski in his newspaper "Dunavski lebed" issued in Belgrade in 1860. Rakovski’s association with Miladinov was a result of the struggle for the national awakening of the Bulgarians.
In 1945 Venko Markovski, a member of the committee to standardization of the Macedonian language, peresuaded its members, that the poem was written by its author per the canons of the literary Bulgarian language. In fact Konstantin Miladinov regarded his language Bulgarian, and renounced the very name Macedonia. Nevertheless Macedonian researchers later proclaimed his work as part of early literature, written in the newly codified Macedonian language. They still maintain, he was allegedly forced to use the Bulgarian language. In North Macedonia the poem is viewed as one of the most important Macedonian literary works under the name. It 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
The T'ga za Jug wine is named after Miladinov's poem. Produced in North 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.
- Miladinov Brothers
- Struga Poetry Evenings, a festival held in the author's birthplace Struga, North Macedonia
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Acknowledgement, that the revivalists in Macedonia wrote by the canons of Bulgarian language: "Konstantin Miladinov called the dialect of his songs struzhko-resenski. But it is nor Struga dialect, nor Resen dialect. One of the main characteristics of our Macedonian language is the stress. In our language the stress is on the third syllable from the end of the word. If we take his poem (of K. Miladinov) "Taga za jug", it is melodical only if it is pronunciated with Bulgarian stress. Here it is! (Recites.) But if we recite it with the typical Macedonian stress, on the third syllable from the end of the word, what we shall obtain? (Recites.) You see, that there is not rhythm." For more see: "Stenographic Memoirs from the Conferences of the Philological Commission for Establishment of the Macedonian Alphabet and Macedonian Literary language" - Venko Markovski, p. 15.
- Aneta Tihova, Distinctive language features of Konstantin Miladinov’s poetry; Language studies, Language and Literature Studies, South Slavic Languages, Shumen University Konstantin Preslavski, Limes Slavicus 2017, Issue No: 2, pp. 133-147, Language: Bulgarian.
- Konstantin Miladinov suggested that Macedonia should be called “Western Bulgaria”. Obviously, he was aware that the classical designation was received via Greek schooling and culture. As the Macedonian histotrian Taskovski claims, the Macedonian Slavs initially rejected the Macedonian designation as Greek. For more see: Tchavdar Marinov, Famous Macedonia, the Land of Alexander: Macedonian identity at the crossroads of Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian nationalism, p. 285; in Entangled Histories of the Balkans - Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies with Roumen Daskalov and Tchavdar Marinov as ed., BRILL, 2013, ISBN 900425076X, pp. 273-330.
- Michael Palairet, Macedonia: A Voyage through History (Vol. 2, From the Fifteenth Century to the Present), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016, ISBN 1443888494, p. 102.
- Konstantin Miladinov, was a typical Romantic poet. He wrote only fifteen poems, but the poem “T’ga za Jug” is like a poetic hymn of Macedonian culture... Macedonian culture considers him, together with his brother Dimitar Miladinov, as the basis of the national literature. However, there is a major problem with their case. They worked within the framework of the Ottoman Empire and with a strong Slavic orientation... Thus, Bulgarians also see them as part of their cultural tradition—as they do with many Macedonians... They were forced to use languages other than their native language to express themselves if they wanted to be published. For more see: Sonja Stojmenska-Elzeser, National Poets and Cultural Saints of Europe: Macedonian (questionnaire). Institute of Macedonian Literature, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, 2016.
- 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.