1. FROM BEULAH LAND TO CYBER-CYMRU Wayne Parsons BECOMING A DIASPORA The issue of what kinds and types of migrations may be said actually to consti- tute a 'diaspora', is deeply problematic. Some groups, such as the Jewish people, are viewed in diasporic terms, others are not. Only time will tell if a migratory experience such as that of the Welsh is to be understood as a 'diaspora'. As Chaliand and Rageau point out, The history of the last few centuries is full of examples of groups which, having partly emigrated, have blended into a different set of people. Thus Poles and Italians have assimilated into the population of France, the leading host nation on the European continent. In the United States, the white minorities (over 35 million immigrants between 1850 and 1914) have almost blended into the American nation. The future will determine whether such groups that are today dispersed will be able or want to form diasporas. The desire to endure as an exiled or transplanted and dispersed group is achieved through a network of associations and communications. These networks ensure dynamism and fluidity; they are local but at the same time cross the boundaries of states. (Chaliand and Rageau, 1995: xviii) This desire to endure, it would seem, is absolutely central to the notion of diaspora. Diasporas involve the notion that a group is dispersed, but not dissolved. They may, as in the case of many white migrants to the USA, have 'blended' into the fluidity of Americanness, but they still retain a sense of being distinct and connected. This is achieved through the creation of modes of communication which can serve to facilitate and give expression to their identity. Diasporas in this sense involve the idea that migratory groups develop ways of aggregating and connecting to compensate for the centrifugal forces