Marcel Thee

Marcel Thee

Marcel is a Jakarta-based journalist and writer who covers everything from culture, lifestyle, to business for the Nikkei Asian Review, Rolling Stone, VICE, The Jakarta Post, and more.

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Latest from Marcel Thee

From luxury private cemeteries to graves piled on top of each other, these Indonesians have seen them all, learning about history and people on the way

Indonesians are often spooked by cemeteries, but members of Indonesia Graveyard have never questioned their dedication to visiting them, despite the odd looks they get.

20 Nov 2020 - 12:22PM

Indonesians are often spooked by cemeteries, but members of Indonesia Graveyard have never questioned their dedication to visiting them, despite the odd looks they get.

From luxury private cemeteries to graves piled on top of each other, these Indonesians have seen them all, learning about history and people on the way
Music for plants: the Indonesian band using sounds and frequencies to relax them, and inviting audience members to bring their own

Indonesian duo Bottlesmoker are making a name for themselves with their music created for plants, using sounds and frequencies that relax them and chime with humans too.

11 Nov 2020 - 12:17PM

Indonesian duo Bottlesmoker are making a name for themselves with their music created for plants, using sounds and frequencies that relax them and chime with humans too.

Music for plants: the Indonesian band using sounds and frequencies to relax them, and inviting audience members to bring their own
Famous YouTubers: how a magician in Indonesia put away his wand and became a professional prankster

His Candid Camera-style pranks have made Yudist Ardhana one of Indonesia’s top YouTube stars, but he still harbours hopes for his magician’s act.

10 Nov 2020 - 2:05PM

His Candid Camera-style pranks have made Yudist Ardhana one of Indonesia’s top YouTube stars, but he still harbours hopes for his magician’s act.

Famous YouTubers: how a magician in Indonesia put away his wand and became a professional prankster
Indonesian YouTube star Ria Ricis on her social media rise, controversies and why she needs security guards

Ria Ricis is one of Indonesia’s biggest YouTubers, known for her gag videos, celebrity home visit videos, and reviews of soft foam toys, but she had to experience failure first.

13 Oct 2020 - 7:30AM

Ria Ricis is one of Indonesia’s biggest YouTubers, known for her gag videos, celebrity home visit videos, and reviews of soft foam toys, but she had to experience failure first.

Indonesian YouTube star Ria Ricis on her social media rise, controversies and why she needs security guards
Indonesia’s biggest YouTube star Atta Halilintar on fame, fortune, his mistakes – and why he’s not happy any more

Atta Halilintar isn’t just Indonesia’s biggest YouTube star with 25.5 million subscribers, he’s also a businessman who’s always thinking how to expand his empire – but he says his fame and fortune have come at a price.

20 Sep 2020 - 2:50PM

Atta Halilintar isn’t just Indonesia’s biggest YouTube star with 25.5 million subscribers, he’s also a businessman who’s always thinking how to expand his empire – but he says his fame and fortune have come at a price.

Indonesia’s biggest YouTube star Atta Halilintar on fame, fortune, his mistakes – and why he’s not happy any more
Why tokusatsu, Power Ranger style shows, became so huge in Indonesia, and the diehard fans who made their own series

Japanese live-action tokusatsu shows – think Power Rangers – became huge in Indonesia in the 1990s. Interest has not waned among thousands of diehard fans, and some have created their own tokusatsu series.

30 Jul 2020 - 9:42AM

Japanese live-action tokusatsu shows – think Power Rangers – became huge in Indonesia in the 1990s. Interest has not waned among thousands of diehard fans, and some have created their own tokusatsu series.

Why tokusatsu, Power Ranger style shows, became so huge in Indonesia, and the diehard fans who made their own series
Indonesian music long forgotten, from pop and rock to traditional sounds, digitised for younger generations to appreciate their past

A group of record collectors are preserving Indonesian music of the 20th century with their archival project Irama Nusantara, covering everything from pop and rock to protest albums and traditional sounds.

6 Jul 2020 - 5:53PM

A group of record collectors are preserving Indonesian music of the 20th century with their archival project Irama Nusantara, covering everything from pop and rock to protest albums and traditional sounds.

Indonesian music long forgotten, from pop and rock to traditional sounds, digitised for younger generations to appreciate their past
Horror video game with ghosts, demons from Indonesian folklore an international hit for indie studio

A pale-faced woman with staring eyes, a demonic pig, a white-shrouded corpse – cast of spooks from Indonesian folklore makes DreadOut an international gaming hit.

15 Jun 2020 - 2:27PM

A pale-faced woman with staring eyes, a demonic pig, a white-shrouded corpse – cast of spooks from Indonesian folklore makes DreadOut an international gaming hit.

Horror video game with ghosts, demons from Indonesian folklore an international hit for indie studio
From Iwan Fals to Nidji, Indonesian music stars let their hair down as they connect with self-isolating fans on social media

From Iwan Fals and Nidji to Vincent Rompies, Indonesian music stars, bands and producers are turning to social media to connect with isolated fans, playing from their homes, conducting live Q&A sessions and offering other types of creative content.

30 Apr 2020 - 1:12PM

From Iwan Fals and Nidji to Vincent Rompies, Indonesian music stars, bands and producers are turning to social media to connect with isolated fans, playing from their homes, conducting live Q&A sessions and offering other types of creative content.

From Iwan Fals to Nidji, Indonesian music stars let their hair down as they connect with self-isolating fans on social media
How the passion of one man in Bali sustained a 15-year anti-trash movement and changed attitudes on the holiday island

Bali’s beaches have a real trash problem, but one islander has fought it for 15 years. Komang Sudiarta mobilised a mass campaign, Malu Dong, to educate and galvanise local groups to get involved in cleaning up, sorting and recycling waste.

26 Mar 2020 - 8:36AM

Bali’s beaches have a real trash problem, but one islander has fought it for 15 years. Komang Sudiarta mobilised a mass campaign, Malu Dong, to educate and galvanise local groups to get involved in cleaning up, sorting and recycling waste.

How the passion of one man in Bali sustained a 15-year anti-trash movement and changed attitudes on the holiday island
Five of Indonesia’s best restaurants for pork, and why country with world’s largest Muslim population is eating more of the meat

Classic pork dishes seem an odd thing to look for in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim majority population in the world. But Facebook groups are praising them and restaurants specialising in pig meat are on the rise.

26 Feb 2020 - 7:53AM

Classic pork dishes seem an odd thing to look for in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim majority population in the world. But Facebook groups are praising them and restaurants specialising in pig meat are on the rise.

Five of Indonesia’s best restaurants for pork, and why country with world’s largest Muslim population is eating more of the meat
UFO fans in Indonesia on why extraterrestrial life should be taken seriously in a country wedded to the occult

Do aliens exist? A Facebook group of 13,000 believers in extraterrestrial life, Beta-UFO, has been making their case for two decades in Indonesia, where most of the 265 million population tend to ascribe anything unexplained to the occult.

16 Feb 2020 - 5:08AM

Do aliens exist? A Facebook group of 13,000 believers in extraterrestrial life, Beta-UFO, has been making their case for two decades in Indonesia, where most of the 265 million population tend to ascribe anything unexplained to the occult.

UFO fans in Indonesia on why extraterrestrial life should be taken seriously in a country wedded to the occult
Who sells the best noodles in Asia? Club of Indonesian noodle connoisseurs reveal six of their favourite places

Indonesia is famous for its delicious street food, and the country’s Bakmi Club is dedicated to eating and talking about the best noodles in Asia. Members share six of their favourite noodle sellers.

9 Feb 2020 - 11:00AM

Indonesia is famous for its delicious street food, and the country’s Bakmi Club is dedicated to eating and talking about the best noodles in Asia. Members share six of their favourite noodle sellers.

Who sells the best noodles in Asia? Club of Indonesian noodle connoisseurs reveal six of their favourite places
From Justin Bieber to Leonardo DiCaprio to Angelina Jolie, fake celebrity photos are Indonesian’s tongue-in-cheek comment on fame

Justin Bieber, Angelina Jolie, Miley Cyrus and even Indonesian President Joko Widodo have all featured in Agan Harahap’s doctored photos. The fakes, with the contrast between glitzy celebs and humble Indonesian surroundings, have gone viral.

22 Jan 2020 - 6:10AM

Justin Bieber, Angelina Jolie, Miley Cyrus and even Indonesian President Joko Widodo have all featured in Agan Harahap’s doctored photos. The fakes, with the contrast between glitzy celebs and humble Indonesian surroundings, have gone viral.

From Justin Bieber to Leonardo DiCaprio to Angelina Jolie, fake celebrity photos are Indonesian’s tongue-in-cheek comment on fame
Indonesian performance art club shocks and startles with confrontational shows not all will enjoy

The 69 Performance Club, an Indonesian performing arts troupe, puts on shows that are impossible to ignore – think a man in his underpants slapping his body for 10 minutes, or a woman who performs under a large cloth.

8 Jan 2020 - 1:27PM

The 69 Performance Club, an Indonesian performing arts troupe, puts on shows that are impossible to ignore – think a man in his underpants slapping his body for 10 minutes, or a woman who performs under a large cloth.

Indonesian performance art club shocks and startles with confrontational shows not all will enjoy
‘You’re not religious enough’: pain of Indonesia’s mentally ill and the online group bringing sufferers and carers together

Mentally ill Indonesians have to battle superstition and prejudice daily, with ‘advice’ from families and friends often including a lot of praying. Online groups like KPSI, however, let them share and learn from others with similar conditions.

6 Nov 2019 - 8:35AM

Mentally ill Indonesians have to battle superstition and prejudice daily, with ‘advice’ from families and friends often including a lot of praying. Online groups like KPSI, however, let them share and learn from others with similar conditions.

‘You’re not religious enough’: pain of Indonesia’s mentally ill and the online group bringing sufferers and carers together
Taboo toys: criminals, ghosts and politicians among Indonesian company’s unusual figurines

An Indonesian company creates unusual toy figurines

10 Oct 2019 - 10:27AM

An Indonesian company creates unusual toy figurines

Taboo toys: criminals, ghosts and politicians among Indonesian company’s unusual figurines
Surviving Indonesia as an atheist when the country is built on rigid religious traditions and policies

Many Indonesian atheists remain in the closet, but with the help of the internet, their critical conversations are slowly seeping into the public discourse.

3 Oct 2019 - 9:54PM

Many Indonesian atheists remain in the closet, but with the help of the internet, their critical conversations are slowly seeping into the public discourse.

Surviving Indonesia as an atheist when the country is built on rigid religious traditions and policies