A 'ritual' is a type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.
What would you think if I said that in English culture, a person may ask a question...and not expect or WANT the truth!! On the contrary!
This happens when someone says, "Hello. How are you?" And to deviate from the ritual of replying, "Fine thanks." could be seen as very odd, depending on the seriousness and privacy of the information then divulged. The person speaking does NOT want to know any details about 'how you are' in terms of health, marital or job problems, or kids playing up at home.
This is one of the rituals when people communicate, converse with each other.
So that you can understand more about this, see this site: