Jackie Chan took advantage of a hiatus from the shooting of Rush Hour II to emcee Harvard's 16th annual Cultural Rhythms show Saturday, where he was named the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations Artist of the Year.
The martial arts star refused to show off his world-famous kicks, saying, "I'm tired of being a martial artist. Right now, I'd rather be a singer!"
The sold-out performance in Sanders theatre showcased performances by 34 student cultural groups.
The Foundation also took the opportunity to repeat their request that Harvard create an ethnic studies department.
Awarding Chan his plaque, Associate Dean of the College David P. Illingworth '71 commended Chan for his work with the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation, which provides scholarships for impoverished students, and aids orphans and senior citizens.
"Please work hard," Chan urged students in his acceptance speech, "You are so lucky, you don't know what Harvard, means to us, who come from a poor country."
Chan stressed the importance of education, and said he is always conscious of the lessons he teaches as a role model. He said the trademark outtakes at the end of his movies--which show bloopers during the production of the film--are meant to show children that his violence is not real.
Chan ended on a humorous note, saying he was able to pick up English on his own, through music.