Dutchman Zenden has travelled Europe since leaving PSV Eindhoven in 1998 and has encountered strong bonds between the playing squad and the non-football members of staff.
But when everyone on the payroll at the Stadium of Light was rewarded for their efforts with a paid for day out at Sedgefield Racecourse by the players, the former Holland international had not experienced anything like it.
Zenden played his part in such a gesture - with chairman Niall Quinn claiming it was him and Phil Bardsley who were the instigators - but the midfielder was keen to play down his part.
"That wasn't just me, it was the squad. I'm not the one to walk away with the credit for that one," he said. "It's just something that came up. We had a chat as players and we decided as a group to do that.
"There was loads of staff. They all got driven down in buses and it was a good day for the club. I've come across things where we've had something organised at other clubs, but I can't really remember if it came from the players.
"A handful came up to the players and thanked them for the day they had.
"It was the people who work for the club who actually organised it, we just said we wanted to do it for them. It shows the spirit of the club, everyone trying to be involved and get the right result."
The day out had to be postponed twice and was a result of the squad going on a tour of the stadium to meet the rest of the club's work- force.
Quinn hinted last week Zenden was perceived as an instrumental figure in the Sunderland dressing room and there would be talks over extending his deal.
But the former Barcelona, Chelsea, Middlesbrough and Liverpool player is in no rush to commit to a further deal after becoming frustrated with a lack of starts under Steve Bruce.
He had been expecting more in his second season, but Bruce is thinking about involving him at Manchester City tomorrow.
Zenden does not want to discuss his future, but he is desperate to play more often having failed to start a match since helping Sunderland win at Blackpool on January 22.
"I've been in different situations during my career," he said. "I've had loads of different times, and it's all been a roller-coaster and a great time.
"When things come along you deal with it. It's more important for me to keep morale up and make sure I do the things I have to do in order to deliver when needed.
"But it's not nice when you're ready and you're not used in any kind of way. It's not fun."