Lora Simakova

Humans of WHS


Pavel Simakov

Lora Simakova, a member of the Wilton High School community and The Forum’s Editor in Chief, takes part in an interview for the “Humans of Wilton.”

Tell me a story about yourself:


“Every time we pass a church, we light a candle. I never really knew what it meant when I was little. All I knew was that my mom cried every time she lit one. There was this one time when we went to a famous church in Moscow. This was one of my first times visiting Russia, and this church was one of the few things I remembered. We walked through the crowds and crowds of people on Red Square until we reached the church. This small, brown building with cracked brick and an open door let people in. My mom reached into her bag and pulled out a light pink scarf. She wrapped it around my head, followed by wrapping one around her own. She made sure to cover my shoulders and hair. ‘Это то, что мы делаем в русской культуре,’ which translates to, ‘this is what we do in Russian culture.’ She grabbed my little hands and took me up the stairs and to the nearest altar. She put a candle in my hands, told me to close my eyes, and said: ‘Думай о нас, о них и обо всех,’ which means, “think of us, them, and everyone else.” My mom taught me to think of the living, the dead, and everyone in between. I used to only have the living in my thoughts, but as time went on, the people on my list only grew. My mom introduced me to Russian culture from a very young age, and for good reason. The traditions mean so much to me now. Lighting candles is a big part of Russian culture. Although I personally light them every time I go to church, a lot of people have a specific one from their childhood. Whereas some light them for the people of the world, I light candles for my family and friends. This is a huge part of my life and makes me feel connected to people I may have never even met before.”


Simakova stands with her mother, lighting a candle in remembrance of those they care about. (Pavel Simakov)