Smurf fans around the world are celebrating the birthday of the famous cartoon strip’s creator and awaiting a new blockbuster movie adaptation. But could the blue creatures offer a model for society?

There is a place where the neighbours are always willing to lend a hand, where everyone has a certain skill and is willing to employ it, without personal reward, for the benefit of everyone.

Before you think about checking out property prices in the area, bear in mind that the neighbours are blue, stand three apples high and live in mushroom-like houses.

The Smurfs, created in 1958 by the Belgian artist Pierre Culliford also known as Peyo, have proved hugely popular.

Their original name is Les Schtroumpfs, a word born during a meal Peyo was having with his friend in which, having temporarily forgotten the word “salt”, Peyo asked him to pass the schtroumpf.

Continue Reading on www.bbc.co.uk