Marv Jo

Marv Jo is a German travel vlogger who has immersed himself in the Indonesian culture. He is all about positivity and making people laugh as well as partying on the island of Bali! We caught up for a chat about his thoughts and his motivations behind what he’s doing.
Hey Marv, when did you first arrive to Bali and what made you come?
I came to Bali for studying one semester abroad at “Udayana University”. It was September 2014. During the studies in Bali my main focus was to learn Bahasa Indonesia. After classes I set up a production for “Jivana” and searched for local people who were willing to help and produce Jivana for me.
Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing on social media?
I create content in Indonesian language, especially videos on Facebook, Youtube and Instagram about current events in Indonesia. My videos are a mix between political, society/social events and funny entertainment/lifestyle stuff. I say my opinion as a “bule” from a foreign country about the current topics and issues in a respectful and neutral way. There is so much bad news everywhere these days so I try to spread the good vibes and deliver a good/positive message to the people who watch my videos and try to bring them together and make them smile. For example I made a video that went viral about the protests in Jakarta on November 4 on Youtube: titled PESAN PENTING & POSITIF OLEH BULE UNTUK SEMUA ORANG INDONESIA!!! in which I remind the people that we are all brothers and sisters and that we should spread love instead of hate.
What’s the motivation behind it?
I want to inspire people. I want to spread the good vibes and deliver a positive message. I want to make people laugh and let them have a good time, while being creative. Sometimes people just need to hear it from someone else to give them a little bit of inspiration and motivation. Also, it feels that a lot of the foreign tourist don’t really care about the locals, don’t really know about the country and its issues. I want to show my Indonesian peeps that there actually are foreigners who take care and who really love being in Indonesia and who are willing to dive deep into their culture to learn from them, to build intercultural relationships. On the other hand I also want to show my local friends through the eyes of a foreigner, how beautiful and awesome Indonesia actually is.
What is the reaction so far?
The reaction is extremely positive. I get messages from all over Indonesia. A lot of people are really happy that a foreigner speaks so positively about their country. It seems that they are thankful that finally someone gives them credit for the beautiful country they come from.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you so far in Indonesia?
Probably the little cultural differences and manners in everyday life which still remind me of the fact that I am at the other side of the world. But these are also the things I love so much about being in a different country. And it is always so funny when people, who know me from my videos, recognize me on the streets and are so pumped just because they see me in real life and want to take a picture with me. It is always very surprising and funny for me as well to get recognized.
Have you been clubbing in Bali? Do you have a favorite party location?
I have been partying a lot in Bali. I love music, dancing and going out. My whole life I was into clubbing. I started Djing in Germany when I was about 16 years old, oldschool with vinyl, and was involved in the nightlife scene since then. Luckily Bali offers so many awesome opportunities for partying.
What do you think about the nightlife scene in Bali compared to Germany?
There are many parties you wouldn’t find in Germany, like crazy beach parties, unique locations or extraordinary interior designs of the club. You have world class DJs in Bali and a vibrant nightlife. On the other hand I also miss certain aspects which you probably only will find in Europe. Since I left Germany and started exploring other parts of the world, I recognized how good and advanced the party culture in Germany actually is. It seems that in a lot of parts of Southeast Asia, there is a lack of an underground party culture. Something not mainstream where people really go where they love to party and to escape the establishment. It feels like a lot of clubs in Bali are a little bit snobby where you have to “behave” and are not allowed to “freak out”. The bouncers are kind of strict and in a lot of clubs you are not allowed to step on chairs or to stand in a gangway etc… This was totally new for me. In Germany everything is more free and wild yet peaceful. That’s why I like places like Pretty Poison so much, because it feels that there is no big business man behind it, people can behave and look like they want. Indeed I keep a good balance between more rough kind of locations like in Canggu and more neat and organized clubs like Jenja, which I also prefer because of its awesome DJ bookings and soundsystem…
We are going to send you on a little mission through a few of our favorite party locations, what can we expect from your videos?
Yeah, I am really excited about that. I will show you how crazy and awesome a night in Bali can be together with me and THE BEAT, we are going to rediscovered two of my favorite clubs in Bali and give you my insight of these party locations. And the best part is I will take the camera with me. The clubs we will visit, are two evergreens where you have a guarantee for having a great fun night you won’t tell your mum about, JENJA and SKY GARDEN… The reason why I like JENJA so much is because of its awesome DJ bookings and their insane sound system, friends of European techno house music will know what I am talking about. The second club is SKY GARDEN, the most popular and biggest club in Bali in the middle of Kuta. This club is a party factory with thousands of guest every night. You have several floors with different kind of music and a lot to explore while you are there. It is going to be crazy night with a lot of beautiful girls, great DJs and awesome party locations. The video may even have to be X rated. You definitely won’t want to miss it. It will be uploaded on the Youtube/Facebook page Marv Jo.
Salam damai. Peace!

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